Norwegian has disclosed plans to cut 3,000 flights between mid-March and mid-June, and is calling for action from authorities to “reduce the financial burden” on the airline sector.
The cut capacity, spread across the entire network, amounts to roughly 15% of the carrier’s scheduled flights.
Norwegian is also entering negotiations with unions about laying off a “significant share” of its staff, including flightcrew, ground staff and office-based employees.
“This is a critical time for the aviation industry, including us at Norwegian,” states chief executive Jacob Schram. “We encourage the authorities to immediately implement measures to imminently reduce the financial burden on the airlines in order to protect crucial infrastructure and jobs.”
Norwegian’s moves are a response to reduced demand for future bookings because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Schram recently acknowledged that the airline had yet to find a way of making its long-haul low-cost flights profitable.
It has launched several rights issues in recent years and delayed bond repayments, while in 2019 credit-card companies began withholding payments to Norwegian until flights took place.
The airline’s share price has fallen around 70% in the past month and 90% since the start of 2019.