Norwegian cuts long haul to concentrate on Europe

Norwegian B737-800Low-cost airline Norwegian is cutting its entire long haul fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners and will concentrate on a network of European short haul flights.

Like many airlines, Norwegian has had a torrid time through the pandemic. Recently, it reported that in December, 129,664 customers flew with Norwegian, a decrease of 94 percent compared to the same period last year. The capacity and total passenger traffic were both down by 98 percent. The load factor was 52.3 percent, down 31 percentage points.

“Our short haul network has always been the backbone of Norwegian and will form the basis of a future resilient business model,” said Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian.

The current plan is to serve these markets with around 50 narrow body aircraft in operation in 2021 and to increase that number to around 70 narrow body aircraft in 2022.

“I am pleased to present a robust business plan today, which will provide a new start for the company,” continued Schram. “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 in Norway and across the Nordics and Europe.”

Norwegian’s entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet has been grounded since March 2020 and the company says future demand remains highly uncertain.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must accept that this will impact dedicated colleagues from across the company,” said Schram. “I would like to thank each one of our affected colleagues for their tireless dedication and contribution to Norwegian over the years.”