Gatwick: Norwegian axes 1,000 jobs at airport in long haul cuts

bbc news

Budget airline Norwegian has axed its long-haul network, leading to the loss of 1,100 pilot and cabin crew jobs based at Gatwick Airport.

The carrier’s board of directors said it will continue to operate with a „simplified business structure“.

It comes following the „profound“ impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry, the board said.

A Gatwick spokeswoman said the demand for slots at the airport remained strong.

The airline will now focus on its European short-haul network, using smaller aircraft.

Norwegian shook up the UK’s long-haul aviation market in recent years by offering transatlantic flights at knockdown prices.

Some of its most popular deals included £99 trips to New York.

But its entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet has been grounded since March 2020.

In August 2020, the airline announced it needed financial support to get through the pandemic, after a loss of £442m for the first six months of the year.

Chief executive Jacob Schram said: „By focusing our operation on a short-haul network, we aim to attract existing and new investors, serve our customers and support the wider infrastructure and travel industry.

„Our focus is to rebuild a strong, profitable Norwegian so that we can safeguard as many jobs as possible.“

‘Variety of choice’

A Gatwick spokeswoman said the airport would remain „an important part“ of Norwegian’s future plans.

„The demand for slots at Gatwick – both long and short-haul – remains very strong,“ the spokeswoman added.

„We will continue to pursue new opportunities with Norwegian and other airlines to offer passengers a variety of choice for their 2021 future travel plans.“

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