Norwegian Air to End Long-Haul Routes as Part of Restructuring

By Kurt Stolz on 17 January 2021
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A Norwegian jetliner at JFK

Norwegian Air, which gained worldwide renown for its fleet of new high-tech Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft for its long-haul service, will exit that business as part of its restructuring and retreat to its roots as a short-haul carrier with narrow-body aircraft.

The reconstituted Norwegian Air would serve Nordic and European destinations with a fleet of 50 narrow-body aircraft, a figure that the airline sai would rise to 70 in 2022.

When the airline filed for examinership in Ireland last November, itsaid it would continue to operate its current route network, which was limited by the coronavirus pandemic, and that saving jobs would be a top priority.

Examinership is a process in Irish law whereby the protection of the court is obtained to assist the survival of a company and allow it to reorganize. It is somewhat akin to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States.

Norwegian used its Dreamliner fleet to operate low-cost flights to the United States, Latin American, and Thailand and, for several years, the model using the fuel-efficient 787s proved popular albeit an unprofitable move.

Founded in 1993 and based in Bergen, Norway, Norwegian is the fourth largest low-cost carrier in Europe It began as a regional airline serving the west coast of Norway and started to become a low-cost carrier in 2002, when it began flying between Stavanger, a city in southwestern Norway, and Newcastle. It announced plans to operate between Oslo and New York City in 2009 and began to place orders for the new high-tech Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which it currently has 37 of in its fleet.

The airline’s livery consists a red nose followed by a blue ribbon and white.  The airline initially featured historically significant Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, and Finns on the vertical stabilizer but has since expanded to individuals from other countries.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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