Norwegian is cutting 22 long-haul flights between Europe and the USA between 28 March and 5 May, as passenger numbers dive as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The airline says it has “during the past few days experienced reduced demand on some routes, particularly on future bookings”, adding: “Bookings for flights departing in the coming weeks are less affected.”
It highlighted that it has relatively few flights to northern Italy, the centre of the outbreak in Europe. It also has a higher proportion of leisure travellers compared with some other airlines, and this segment is less impacted than business traffic.
Yet the impact on passenger demand is severe enough for Norwegian to withdraw its 2020 guidance provided on 13 February, acknowledging that “at this stage, it is too early to assess the full impact on our business”.
Routes affected by the changes are Rome to Los Angeles, Boston and New York, and London Gatwick to New York, which will reduce to twice daily on some dates, from thrice daily currently.
The cuts in response to the coronavirus outbreak follow the wider 15% capacity reduction in 2019 Norwegian undertook as part of its profitability drive.