Norwegian Air has announced that it will gradually cancel most of its flights due to COVID-19.
In a statement on Norwegian Air's website, the airline's CEO, Jacob Schram, 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. 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."
Norwegian Air has already discontinued a large number of its flights, and the airline said that its main priority this week is to maintain as many scheduled flights as possible to ensure that customers are able to immediately return to their home destinations.
Norwegian Air also said that it will work closely with the authorities to arrange flights for the benefit of stranded passengers, if necessary.
Customers who are directly affected by route changes and cancellations will be contacted by Norwegian via text message or e-mail.
As a result of most of the airline's planes being grounded, Norwegian Air has to temporarily lay off more than 7,300 people, which equates to approximately 90% of its workforce.
Schram stated, "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."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.