All airlines are facing pandemic-related financial consequences, and they’re handling it in different ways. Norwegian Air just announced that it will cease long-haul operations and focus solely on European destinations while it deals with the economic blow of the pandemic.
According to the low-cost airline, it will “focus on its core Nordics business, operating a European short haul network with narrow body aircraft. Under these circumstances a long-haul operation is not viable for Norwegian and these operations will therefore not continue.”
Its fleet will be reduced from 140 aircraft to about 50, in an effort to decrease its total debt which currently sits at $2.36 billion. The plan is to increase the number of aircraft in Europe to 70 in 2022.
Chief executive Jacob Schram said, “We do not expect customer demand in the long-haul sector to recover in the near future, and our focus will be on developing our short haul network.”
In November, Norwegian announced that it was seeking restructuring and bankruptcy protection in Ireland, where its fleet is based, and indicated that the airline faced an uncertain future. In December, Norwegian’s passenger capacity was down by 98 percent compared to the previous year.