Around 800 Norwegian Air employees based in Sweden were all given notice on Monday that they’ve lost their jobs. It’s the latest dramatic news from an entire aviation industry grounded by the Corona virus crisis with no new income flowing in.
Norwegian Air has been caught up in a crisis of its own, and is scrambling to fulfill state demands for a rescue package of loan guarantees and cash support. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Monday afternoon that the debt-laden airline sent out termination notices to all employees in Sweden after the Swedish government failed to include Norwegian Air in its own airline rescue plan that includes SAS.
Another 380 Norwegian Air flight attendants hired in through OSM Aviation were also given notice. All may be able to get their jobs back within 12 months if Norwegian Air’s activity picks up again, but the airline may have a different route structure and operations by then.
“Many of the employees find this all shocking, because it’s all happened so fast,” Nils Henrik Sanner, a Norwegian Air employees’ representive, told DN. He stressed that airlines “need help to crank back up again, if we’re to have a sustainable industry in the future.”
Of around 700 Norwegian pilots in Norway, only around 100 of them are flying at present, and only on routes ordered by the state government to ensure airline transport in Norway. The rest have already been laid off.
Rival SAS has also laid off all pilots hired after 2013, while others are working in reduced positions of less than 40 percent.