The low-cost, long-haul airline Norwegian is going to become a little less long-haul after the carrier confirmed it will discontinue transatlantic flights from its bases in Copenhagen and Stockholm. The decision to axe its long-haul routes in both Denmark and Sweden was made because of changing travel demands and continuing problems with its fleets of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Instead, the airline said it would use the freed up capacity to expand its long-haul operations at London Gatwick, Paris and Barcelona. Norwegian’s London base has been particularly successful in the last few years and the airline says its seeing strong demand in both France and Spain for low-cost long-haul travel.
Norwegian also said it has no plans to discontinue long-haul flights from its Oslo home and that Copenhagen and Stockholm will still be served by its short-haul fleet.
There are, however, plans to possibly end all of the airline’s flights between Scandinavia and Thailand. That would likely mean the closure of Norwegian’s Bangkok cabin crew base with a significant number of job losses.
“Scandinavia is not large enough to maintain intercontinental flights from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen,” explained Matthew Wood, the airline’s senior Vice President of commercial.
“For a long time, we have had challenges with the Rolls Royce engines on our long-haul flights, which means we need to have more aircraft on the ground. This affects the route program,” he continued.
The dramatic decision comes just weeks before Jacob Schram is due to join Norwegian as the company’s new chief executive.
Norwegian was keen to note that it continues to be the largest non-US airline serving New York City and will be serving North America with 50 routes to and from Europe.
The airline has not yet said whether there will be any compulsory redundancies as a result of today’s announcement. Over the last year, Norwegian has embarked on a dramatic cost-cutting programme following several years of heavy losses.