Norwegian Air is considering laying off staff at its base at Gatwick Airport, a spokeperson has said, as the struggling budget airline steps up its cost-cutting drive to survive the industry's worst crisis.
The move could affect 259 cabin crew and pilots, which is just under a quarter of the 1,142 staff at Britain's second-busiest airport, the spokesperson said as the airline started a 45-day consultation period with staff and unions.
"These unprecedented circumstances that we now find ourselves in require us to review the London Gatwick crew base in line with current business needs and the associated costs going forward," the company said in a statement. "We have entered into consultation with our crew colleagues and unions based in the in UK and will look to find common solutions and mitigate redundancies."
Business Has Collapsed
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Like most airlines, Norwegian's business has collapsed. It was hit particularly hard because of large debts built up in recent years under a vast expansion plan.
Norwegian furloughed or laid off approximately 7,300 staff, which was approximately 90% of its employees, after the COVID-19 outbreak, but brought some back when limited flights resumed in the summer.
Creditors and lessors took control of Norwegian in May with a financial rescue that allowed it to access state-guaranteed loans of three billion Norwegian crowns ($328 million), with the aim of keeping it afloat until demand for air travel resumes.