Norwegian to axe 1,100 UK jobs as coronavirus hits troubled airline

The low-cost airline Norwegian, which operated flights to Spain and the USA from Birmingham Airport, has closed its long-haul network and resulted in the loss of jobs in the UK.

Around 1,100 pilot and cabin crew jobs at Gatwick Airport were cut after the airline announced it would operate a “simplified business structure and special short-haul route network” after being badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

It operated flights from Birmingham Airport, including low-cost transatlantic flights to New York that ended in 2017.

The long-haul Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet has been suspended since March 2020 due to coronavirus travel restrictions and is now planning to focus on its European operations.

The airline said: “Future demand remains highly uncertain. Under these circumstances, long-haul operations are not feasible for Norwegians and these operations will not continue.

“The consequence of this decision is that the board of directors of the legal entities, which mainly employ long-haul workers in Italy, France, the UK and the US, have contacted insolvency administrators.

“Norwegian will continue to examine profitable opportunities as the world adapts to and recovers from the effects of Covid-19.”

CEO Jacob Schram added, “We do not expect customer demand in the long haul sector to recover in the near future and we will focus on developing our short haul network when we emerge from the reorganization process.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have to accept that this affects committed colleagues from across the company. I would like to thank each of our colleagues concerned for their tireless dedication and contribution to Norwegian over the years. “

The airline confirmed that it will continue its European short haul network.

Norwegian Air believes the plan will allow it to build a “robust and solid company” that will continue to serve new and existing customers.

It is planned to put 50 narrow-body aircraft into operation this year, which should increase to around 70 by 2022.

Mr Schram continued: “Our short haul network has always been the backbone of Norwegian and will form the basis for a future resilient business model.

“I am pleased to present a solid business plan today that will enable the company to start over.


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