• Joe Breitfeller

Norwegian Air Cancels 85 Percent of Flights, Temporarily Lays Off 7,300 Team Members

Norwegian Air announced on Monday the cancellation of 85 percent of their flights and the temporary layoff of around 7,300 colleagues, approximately 90 percent of their workforce. The company will continue to work with authorities to arrange repatriation flights.

Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Courtesy Norwegian Air

Today, Norwegian Air announced further emergency austerity measures in response to government travel restrictions and rapidly diminishing demand related to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier has now cancelled 85% of their flights and has initiated temporary layoffs of approximately 7,300 colleagues, around 90% of their workforce. In Monday’s announcement, Norwegian’s CEO, Jacob Schram said,

“What our industry is now facing is unprecedented and critical as we are approaching a scenario where most of our airplanes will be temporarily grounded. Several governments in Europe have already said they will do everything they can to ensure that their airlines can continue to fly when society returns to normalcy. We appreciate that the authorities of Norway have communicated that they will implement all necessary measures to protect aviation in Norway, consequently securing crucial infrastructure and jobs. We understand that this extraordinary situation is stressful for our customers, but I want to ensure everyone that we are working around the clock to ensure that everyone is taken care off in the best way possible at this time. It is indeed with a heavy heart we have to temporarily lay off more than 7,300 of our colleagues, but we unfortunately have no choice. However, I want to emphasize that this is temporary, because when the world returns to normalcy my goal is to keep as many of our dedicated colleagues as possible.”

Norwegian's Limited Updated Schedule - Courtesy Norwegian Air

Norwegian Air will continue a limited schedule until at least April 17, 2020, which will be reviewed on a regular basis subject to changes based on travel restrictions and demand.

Norwegian Air is the world’s fifth largest low cost carrier, carrying over 36 million guests in 2019. The airline operates over 500 routes to over 150 destinations in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Thailand, North America and South America. Norwegian operates a young and fuel-efficient fleet of over 160 aircraft, with an average age of only 4.6 years.

Source: Norwegian Air

Editor's Note: We stand by the entire Norwegian Air team and all airlines during this difficult period as the entire world fights to limit the transmission of, and ultimately recover from, the global COVID-19 pandemic. Once it has been defeated, we look forward to the emergence of an even stronger and more robust global commercial airline industry.

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