Norwegian Air’s long-haul operations will not continue in 2021 and beyond. NurPhoto via Getty Images
Norwegian Air’s days of pioneering low-cost transatlantic travel are over. The airline will scrap all long-haul flights from its route network as part of a wide range of measures designed to save the company from bankruptcy and ensure a sustainable future.
Norwegian is currently under bankruptcy protection in Ireland while its management works to come up with a feasible plan to continue operations.
Long-haul is “not viable”
In an announcement to the Oslo Stock Exchange, Norwegian blamed COVID-19 travel restrictions and “changing government advice” for the drop in demand that prompted the decision: “Under these circumstances a long haul operation is not viable for Norwegian and these operations will not continue.”
The legal entities employing long-haul staff in Italy, France, the U.K. and the U.S. have contacted insolvency practitioners. “It is with a heavy heart that we must accept that this will impact dedicated colleagues from across the company,” said Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian in a press release to accompany the announcement.
In 2021 and beyond, the airline will focus on flights within Norway and the Nordic countries, and to/from other parts of Europe using a fleet of up to 50 medium-distance narrow-body aircraft.
“Our short haul network has always been the backbone of Norwegian and will form the basis of a future resilient business model,” added Schram.
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