Norwegian Air to axe 1,100 Gatwick-based pilots and cabin crew

Greater than 1,000 employees at Gatwick Airport are to lose their jobs as Norwegian Air axes its long-haul operation. 

The cash-strapped service has introduced it’s abandoning long-haul flights, lots of which fly out of the airport in Crawley, West Sussex. 

The transfer will result in the lack of 1,100 pilot and cabin crew jobs based mostly at Gatwick Airport.  

The low-cost transatlantic airline has confronted a battle for survival after being badly hit by the financial downturn attributable to the coronavirus pandemic.

The cash-strapped service has introduced it’s abandoning long-haul flights, lots of which fly out of the airport in Crawley, West Sussex

How coronavirus crushed UK airways and journey operators 

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left round 15,000 passengers stranded throughout the UK and Europe. 

British Airways: The boss of BA proprietor IAG demanded ministers arrange airport testing after the group swung to a £5.6bn loss. The corporate, which additionally owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, misplaced the equal of £900,000 an hour through the first 9 months of 2020. 

Jet2: Reported working losses of £111.2m for the six months to September 30, in opposition to earnings of £361.5m a yr earlier.

Virgin Atlantic: In September Virgin Atlantic mentioned it might axe an extra 1,150 jobs from throughout the corporate taking the full variety of job losses to 4,700 through the disaster. It additionally urged the Authorities to supply carriers emergency credit score services price as much as £7.5billion.

Ryanair: Reported a lack of 197m euro (£178m) within the first half of 2020, with 99 per cent of it is fleet grounded for nearly 4 months. Site visitors within the first half of the yr fell from 86million to 17million passengers in contrast with the identical interval final yr, and income dropped 78 per cent to 1.18billion euros (£1.06billion).

TUI: Posted a bottom-line internet lack of 1.42 billion euros (£1.3 billion) within the interval from April to June.

Easyjet: Disaster noticed it crash to an annual lack of £1.27billion – the primary in its 25-year historical past – however the prospect of a vaccine has led to a spike in gross sales over the previous fortnight.

Heathrow: Heathrow’s Terminal 4 will stay closed all through this yr as demand for air journey struggles to get better.

The west London airport made the announcement on the finish of 2020 because it mentioned passenger numbers for November had been down 88per cent in contrast with the identical month final yr.

On the finish of October, Heathrow misplaced its standing as Europe’s busiest airport because it recorded a lack of £1.5billion within the first 9 months of the yr attributable to Covid-19.

Passenger numbers between July and September had been down by greater than 84 per cent in contrast with the identical interval in 2019, main the west London hub to be overtaken by Paris Charles de Gaulle because the busiest in Europe.  

The service introduced that it was to shut its long-haul operation and concentrate on a scaled-down European enterprise mannequin. 

On the finish of final yr, the Oslo-based service grounded all however six of its 154-strong fleet, and furloughed 1,600 extra workers, conserving on simply 600 of its 10,000 employees.

Round 2,160 jobs shall be misplaced around the globe – together with at Gatwick – because the agency additionally has long-haul bases in France, Italy, Spain and the US.  

Norwegian shook up the UK’s long-haul aviation market lately by providing transatlantic flights at knockdown costs.

A few of its hottest offers included £99 journeys to New York.

But it surely struggled to include prices throughout its speedy enlargement, and has come underneath additional pressure because of the virus disaster.

Its total Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet has been grounded since March 2020.

In August 2020, the airline introduced that it might want extra monetary help to get via the pandemic, after reporting a lack of £442 million for the primary six months of the yr.

Below its new plan, it is going to solely fly inside Norway, throughout the Nordic area and to ‘key European locations’.

If authorized, the proposal would minimize Norwegian’s fleet to about 50 plane from the present 140.

It then goals to develop once more, to round 70 in 2022. 

Norwegian mentioned it had restarted talks with the federal government about potential support for its restructuring. 

The plan, which is topic to approval by an Irish chapter courtroom, is a part of funds service Norwegian’s makes an attempt to cope with the coronavirus disaster and full a debt restructuring.  

Chief govt Jacob Schram mentioned: ‘Our short-haul community has at all times been the spine of Norwegian and can kind the idea of a future resilient enterprise mannequin.

‘I’m happy to current a sturdy marketing strategy immediately, which can present a brand new begin for the corporate.

‘By focusing our operation on a short-haul community, we goal to draw present and new buyers, serve our clients and help the broader infrastructure and journey trade in Norway and throughout the Nordics and Europe.

‘Our focus is to rebuild a robust, worthwhile Norwegian in order that we are able to safeguard as many roles as potential.

‘We don’t anticipate buyer demand within the long-haul sector to get better within the close to future, and our focus shall be on creating our short-haul community as we emerge from the reorganisation course of.’ 

Mr Schram continued: ‘It’s with a heavy coronary heart that we should settle for that this can impression devoted colleagues from throughout the corporate.

‘I want to thank every considered one of our affected colleagues for his or her tireless dedication and contribution to Norwegian through the years.’ 

More than 1,000 pilots and cabin crew working at Gatwick were told that they have lost their jobs

Greater than 1,000 pilots and cabin crew working at Gatwick had been advised that they’ve misplaced their jobs

Like different airways, its fleet is now largely grounded because the pandemic has precipitated a near-total halt to world journey.

Prospects with affected bookings shall be contacted by the airline and refunded.

It mentioned on Thursday that it has resumed talks with the Norwegian authorities about additional state help.

A Gatwick spokesperson mentioned: ‘We’re conscious of Norwegian’s plans to focus on their European community going ahead, and we anticipate Gatwick will stay an necessary a part of their plans for this. We’ve got a wonderful relationship with Norwegian and their routes from Gatwick have at all times been standard.

‘The demand for slots at Gatwick – each lengthy and short-haul – stays very sturdy. We’ll proceed to pursue new alternatives with Norwegian and different airways to supply passengers a wide range of alternative for his or her 2021 future journey plans.’

Norwegian Air’s rise and battle for survival 

Having grown quickly to change into Europe’s third-largest low-cost airline and one of many few to use the funds mannequin to transatlantic flights, Norwegian Air is preventing for its survival once more after the Oslo authorities on Monday dominated out additional help.

Following are key dates within the firm’s 27-year historical past.


Aug. 28: Norwegian Air says it might want to safe funding this yr for the following 18 months or extra to see it via the COVID-19 pandemic after reporting first-half losses of $610 million.

Might 18: Norwegian Air completes a cut-price share sale and wins bondholders’ backing for a refinancing, permitting it to proceed working with a slimmed-down schedule.

March 24: The airline receives an preliminary authorities money injection of 300 million Norwegian crowns ($29 million).

March 16: Norwegian says it’s cancelling 85% of its flights and briefly shedding 7,300 staff due to the coronavirus outbreak.

March 5: Firm scraps its 2020 earnings steerage and cancels a few of its transatlantic flights.

Feb. 13: Norwegian says it is going to make deeper capability cuts in 2020 than beforehand introduced because it goals to return to revenue after three consecutive years of losses.


Nov. 20: Appoints Jacob Schram as CEO. Schram, who doesn’t have a background in aviation, had labored for consulting firm McKinsey amongst earlier roles.

Nov. 5: Raises 2.5 billion Norwegian crowns to satisfy its money wants via 2020 with its third share sale in two years and a bond problem.

Sept. 16: Norwegian’s bondholders settle for the corporate’s plea to postpone reimbursement of $380 million by as much as two years. Aug. 19: Agrees to promote its stake in banking firm Norwegian Finans Holding for two.22 billion crowns.

July 11: Co-founder Bjoern Kjos steps down as CEO.

April 10: Norwegian postpones Airbus airplane deliveries scheduled for 2019 and 2020, slicing its capital spending by $570 million.

March 12: Norwegian grounds its Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets after a deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airways 737 MAX.

Feb. 18-19: Norwegian pronounces deep-discount share problem at solely a 3rd of the market worth.

Jan. 24: Worldwide Consolidated Airways Group (IAG), the proprietor of British Airways, says it is not going to make a bid for Norwegian and can promote its stake within the firm.


Might 4: Board confirms that it has acquired two separate conditional proposals from IAG Group in relation to an acquisition of 100% of its share capital.

April 12: Norwegian is notified that IAG has acquired 4.6% of the shares within the firm.

March 21:

Norwegian raises 1.3 billion crowns in a share sale to assist to fund its enlargement and deal with larger gas prices after warning of a bigger than anticipated loss within the quarter.


July 17: Norwegian’s first flight utilizing the Boeing 737 MAX takes off from Edinburgh.


Oct. 22: Norwegian orders 19 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, greater than quadrupling its long-haul fleet.


Might 30: Norwegian’s first intercontinental flight departs from Oslo to New York.


Jan. 25: Norwegian orders 122 planes from Boeing, 100 of that are Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets. The airline additionally enters settlement with Airbus about shopping for 100 Airbus A320neo jets. In complete, the planes are price 127 billion Norwegian crowns.


Feb. 8: Norwegian turns into the primary airline to supply free WiFi on European flights.


April 24: Norwegian buys FlyNordic from Finnair and turns into the largest low-cost airline in Scandinavia.


Dec. 18: Norwegian shares are listed on Oslo Inventory Change.


Sept. 1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) rebrands as Norwegian and begins working with Boeing 737-300 planes.


Jan. 22: Norwegian Air Shuttle is based and takes over regional airline providers on Norway’s West Coast. Flights are operated in cooperation with Norwegian airline Braathens. NAS initially operates with a fleet of three leased Fokker 50. ($1 = 9.4785 Norwegian crowns)

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