Norwegian is left with no option but to cancel most of its flights and temporarily lay off a majority of its workforce due to stagnating demand in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. Passenger demand has fallen drastically after travel restrictions have been imposed across the world.
Many flights have been discontinued
The carrier has already discontinued a significant number of its flights. Its main priority in the upcoming week is to maintain as many scheduled flights as possible to ensure that customers are able to immediately return to their home destinations. The organisation will also work closely with the authorities to organise flights for the benefit of stranded passengers, whenever necessary.
Chief executive Jacob Schram of Norwegian 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.”
He continued: “Several governments in Europe have already said that 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.”
7,300 employees have been laid off
Most of the company’s planes are not operational. They have had to temporarily lay off more than 7,300 colleagues in total which equates to approximately 90 percent of its workforce. This includes pilots, cabin crew, maintenance, and administrative staff. The layoff procedures differ from country to country.
“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,” said Schram.