The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge problems in the airline industry worldwide, and it has resulted in one Norwegian carrier announcing its decision to scrap its long-haul flights.

While many of Norwegian Air's staff have already been furloughed since the pandemic began, approximately 2150 jobs in the UK, Spain, France and the US will now be permanently lost. The carrier has announced that it will no longer fly long-haul routes, even when the pandemic ends. It will operate a short-haul European network and domestic Norwegian routes from now on, according to its business plan for survival. It will also will reduce its overall fleet to 50 planes, and will not keep on the fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners used to fly long-haul.

The airline’s strategy going forward is to focus on saving Norwegian jobs, as it says it does not expect customer demand in the long-haul sector to recover in the near future. According to its chief executive, Jacob Schram, its focus is on rebuilding a strong, profitable airline so that it can safeguard as many jobs as possible. The Norwegian ministry of trade, industry and fisheries is also in talks with Norwegian Air about possible state participation in a new business plan.

“Our short-haul network has always been the backbone of Norwegian and will form the basis of a future resilient business model," says 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.”

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