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Norwegian to suspend more than 4000 flights and implement layoffs

Press release   •   Mar 12, 2020 12:42 EDT

OSLO, NORWAY (MARCH 12, 2020) – Following the U.S. ban on travel from most of Europe and the escalating coronavirus situation, Norwegian has decided to ground 40 percent of its long-haul fleet and cancel up to 25 percent of its short-haul flights until the end of May. The changes apply to the company’s entire route network.

Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian said: “This is an unprecedented situation and our main priority continues to be the care and safety of our customers and colleagues. The new restrictions imposed further pressure on an already difficult situation. We urge international governments to act now to ensure that the aviation industry can protect jobs and continue to be a vital part of the global economic recovery.”

40 percent of long-haul capacity to be cancelled
From March 13th to March 29th, Norwegian will cancel the majority of our long-haul flights to the U.S. from Amsterdam, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Barcelona and Paris.

From March 13th to the end of May, all flights between Rome and the U.S. will be cancelled.

From March 29th until the end of April, all flights from Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Amsterdam, Athens and Oslo to the U.S. will be cancelled.

All routes between London Gatwick and the U.S. will continue to operate as normal. Norwegian operates 11 routes between the U.S. and London Gatwick. Our goal is to reroute as many of our customers as possible through London during this difficult period.

The short-haul network heavily impacted
Norwegian will also cancel a large share of its domestic flights in Norway and flights within Scandinavia, such as Oslo-Copenhagen and Oslo-Stockholm. Flights to Italy will also be cancelled. Domestic and intra-Scandinavian flights will be combined to re-protect our customers.

Customers booked to travel on affected flights will be contacted to discuss their options including rebooking onto a flight at a later date. Due to a high number of enquiries we encourage all customers to check our website www.norwegian.com/updates for the latest travel advice. If your travels are past April 15th, 2020, please refrain from contacting our Customer Care team at this time.

Layoffs
During a pandemic it is Norwegian’s policy to prioritize and safeguard the health and well-being of employees while ensuring Norwegian's ability to maintain essential operations and continue providing services to our customers.

Due to the extraordinary market situation as a result of the Coronavirus, and thus a dramatic drop in customers and subsequent production decline, Norwegian must look at all possible measures to reduce costs. This unfortunately also includes temporary layoffs of up to 50 percent of our employees and the number may increase. All departments will be affected by the temporary layoffs.

Norwegian has initiated, in consultation with the unions, a discussion and mapping process and will then return with leave notices to affected departments, stations and employees. 

About Norwegian Air
Norwegian Air is the world’s fifth largest low-cost airline and carried over 36 million passengers in 2019. The airline operates more than 500 routes to over 150 destinations in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Thailand, North and South America. Norwegian has a fleet of around 160 aircraft, with an average age of 4.6 years, making it one of the world’s youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets.

Norwegian has been named the Most Fuel-Efficient Airline on Transatlantic Routes by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) twice. In 2019, the airline saved 1.7 million metric tons of CO2 emissions compared to the industry average. Norwegian has been voted ‘Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline’ by passengers for six consecutive years at the SkyTrax World Airline Awards 2013-2019, along with being named the ‘World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline’ for the past five consecutive years. Norwegian employs more than 11,000 people worldwide.

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