Norwegian lays off half its staff cuts 4,000 flights, AirBaltic, Finnair cut more routes and staff

Norwegian announced yesterday that the group was laying off half its staff and cutting 4,000 flights. The final crunch was the inexplicable Trump decision to cut flights from the 26 Schengen Area EU members, but not the U.K. and Ireland.

Finnair yesterday cancelled all of its US flights, other European airlines were working through how they would process the situation. The airline was looking at rotating layoffs for crews.

AirBaltic, a frankly amazing success story in the small airlines business, has been forced to drastically reduce its routes and lay off crews. They were working through ways of making sure they could re-hire everyone as soon as it was possible to do so.

The situation at Norwegian is said to be precarious. While the airline was responsible for its own ridiculous expansion strategy that came close to destroying it, its since reined that in and cuts costs. It’s had a run of appallingly bad luck too, first with the Trent-1000 issue on its Dreamliners, then the MAX groundings. It’s restructured, redeployed and raised with some difficulty, cash to keep flying. It seems hard to imagine it will come out of this crisis, and if it does, it’s hard to see if it can last more than a few months.