Norwegian Air to lay off around half of its staff and cancel 4,000 flights as it struggles to stay afloat
Norwegian Air will lay off around half of its staff and cancel 4,000 flights as it struggles to stay afloat.
The budget airline lost a fifth of its value after announcing the string of emergency measures, which came after President Trump imposed a 30-day travel ban on flights from Europe to the US.
Norwegian said the changes would apply until the end of May – but warned that the numbers could increase further.
Norwegian Air lost a fifth of its value after announcing the string of emergency measures, which came after President Trump imposed a 30-day travel ban on flights from Europe
The cancellations amount to around 40 per cent of its long-haul schedule and a quarter of its short-haul flights.
Chief executive Jacob Schram said it was ‘an unprecedented situation’. Norwegian was already struggling under the weight of a mammoth debt pile.
But analysts said the wider industry has been dealt another ‘body blow’ by the ban, which will badly disrupt transatlantic traffic that is key to the earnings of major European airlines.
Flights had already been scaled back from China and Italy over previous weeks.
Shares in BA-owner IAG dived 15.8 per cent, in part because Trump’s move will hit its Spanish subsidiary Iberia.
Wizz Air shares fell 14.6 per cent, while Easyjet shed 13.6 per cent and Ryanair lost 7.8 per cent.
But analysts believe lower-cost airlines could be more resilient as they are used to stripping back costs.