Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Norwegian axes long-haul flights and cuts 1,100 Gatwick jobs | Airline trade

Norwegian has introduced it’s going to not fly long-haul routes, even after the pandemic, bringing an finish to its low-cost, long-haul imaginative and prescient and spelling the lack of about 1,100 jobs primarily based at Gatwick airport.

The airline mentioned it will retrench to a short-haul European community and home Norwegian routes for good, because it outlined its marketing strategy for survival.

About 2,150 jobs within the UK, Spain, France and the US might be axed, with one union warning that the airline trade is in an employment “demise spiral”.

The airline’s 1,100 UK crew and pilots had been furloughed because the begin of the Covid-19 disaster. About 400 different UK crew who labored briefly haul have been made redundant final yr.

The airline goes by chapter safety proceedings in Eire that may permit it to restructure and proceed operations, by demonstrating a viable marketing strategy to judges there.

Norwegian will not retain any of its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners that it used to fly long-haul, and cut back its general fleet to 50 narrowbody planes.

It was as soon as the third-biggest airline at London Gatwick and pioneered low-cost transatlantic flights, however its formidable growth had already seen it run into monetary peril earlier than Covid-19 hit.

The airline’s plan focuses on saving Norwegian jobs and it’s understood to be in renewed dialogue with the Oslo authorities about potential state assist, two months after ministers mentioned they might not make investments extra taxpayers’ cash in propping it up.

Jacob Schram, Norwegian’s chief govt, mentioned: “Our short-haul community has at all times been the spine of Norwegian and can type the idea of a future resilient enterprise mannequin. By focusing our operation on a short-haul community, we goal to draw present and new buyers, serve our prospects and assist the broader infrastructure and journey trade in Norway and throughout the Nordics and Europe.”

The pilots’ union Balpa mentioned it was additional devastating information for UK airline workers, with about 300 pilots among the many 1,100 Gatwick job losses.

Brian Strutton, Balpa common secretary, mentioned: “The airline has failed for a number of causes however there might be no blame apportioned to the pilot, crew or different workers teams.”

He mentioned it was additional proof of the “jobs demise spiral”, including that “aviation stays in critical disaster”.

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