Airlines fire, but also re-hire

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Oslo-based Norwegian Air is calling 600 laid-off employees back to work in July and rival Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) won’t rule out the same. On Monday, however, SAS sent out termination notices to nearly 1,600 of its employees in Denmark and still thinks it will have to fire a total of 5,000 throughout Scandinavia.

More than half of SAS’ 1,200 flight attendants are losing their jobs, in addition to 176 pilots, 96 technicians, 586 ground-crew workers and 51 administrative employees.

“It’s a sad day in SAS’ history,” wrote SAS’ press chief in an email on Monday. “The Corona crisis has hit SAS with full force and we’re struggling to survive.” SAS also confirmed the termination of more pilots in Norway and Sweden, while most others are laid off or working only 20- to 50 percent of the time.

More flights are beginning to take off again, though, and Norwegian Air announced a 36 percent increase in sales late last week after Corona-related travel restrictions were eased. Norwegians can start flying to various countries in Europe again from July 15 without facing quarantine restrictions upon return, and visitors from several European countries will be allowed into Norway. That prompted the re-staffing at Norwegian, “but there’s no guarantee they won’t have to be laid off again if travel demand falls.”

newsinenglish.no staff