Norwegian Air, which less than a decade ago challenged traditional airlines by launching low-cost transatlantic flights, said Thursday it will eliminate all long-haul flights from its route network as part of a broad range of measures designed to save the company from bankruptcy and ensure a sustainable future.
The airline, founded in 1993, has been forced to ground all but six of its 138 aircraft due to the pandemic and will now focus on Nordic and European routes.
“We have decided that long-distance transportation is no longer part of our business plan,” said CEO Jacob Schram at an online press conference.
The plan also includes the closure of units in the United States, Italy, France and Great Britain, including its base at London-Gatwick airport, Reuters reported.
The airline plans to reduce its fleet to about 50 aircraft before expanding to about 70 in 2022, Schram said
Norwegian also announced that it will cut 2,000 jobs and seek government assistance.
The plan must be approved by an Irish bankruptcy court. The next hearing will be on January 22.
The company is currently under bankruptcy protection in Ireland while it works to develop a workable plan to continue operations.
“Overall, it seems like a sensible plan. The long-distance business was volatile and generally loss-making since its launch in 2013 – in this environment, withdrawal is the only viable option,” said broker Davy.