One of the aircraft of the Norwegian airline.
The Norwegian company has communicated this Monday to the unions its intention to dismiss 1,191 workers in Spain, which represents 85% of the total workforce that works in the country, both pilots and cabin crew.
The Scandinavian airline thus converts the temporary employment regulation file (ERTE) to which these workers are now accepted into a regulation file (ERE) after considering unfeasible the recovery of traffic levels prior to the crisis caused by the pandemic, which have led the company to stop its activities in Spain since the state of alarm was declared in March 2020.
Norwegian multiplied its losses by 14 in 2020
Norwegian enters bankruptcy
The cutback proposed by Norwegian's management will mean the practical dismantling of its ambitious structure in Spain, with the cessation of operations of the bases in Barcelona, Gran Canaria and Tenerife South, which join the closures of Madrid and Mallorca that were applied before of the pandemic. Only the Malaga bases and the Alicante base would remain active with three aircraft in each, and the forecast that in 2022 215 personnel will work in them, including pilots and crew members. For this year's summer campaign, the low-cost company plans to reactivate only two aircraft, one in Malaga and the other in Alicante, although it has not yet set the date for the restart of operations.
The airline is immersed in a restructuring plan and struggling to avoid bankruptcy, which threatened it even before the pandemic, after an ambitious expansion plan that led to extreme financial difficulties collapsed.
Cessation of long-haul operations
The personnel adjustment in Spain will take place after the cessation of the company's long-distance operations and the downward adaptation of short-distance operations, as announced on January 14.
Norwegian will serve domestic flights in Norway and a few routes to the rest of Europe with 50 single-aisle aircraft in 2021 that will be increased to 70 aircraft in 2022. A figure well below the fleet of 156 aircraft that it had at the end of 2019, of which 37 were long-haul (Boeing 787 Dreamliner) and 119 were short-haul or single-aisle (Boeing 737).
"It is a restructuring process that Norwegian has carried out in each and every one of the markets where the company already had operations: the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and France," the company said in a statement. .
The company will now begin a period of negotiations with the unions that will last for a maximum period of one month.
Both the USO of TCP union and the SEPLA pilots union have denounced that the company undertakes the cut in Spain while “it continues its growth in Denmark and Finland, countries where it has initiated pilot hiring processes and with whom it intends to carry out the flights and therefore the Spanish production ”.
The low-cost carrier lost NOK 23.04 billion (€ 2.253 billion at the current rate) in 2020 last year due to travel restrictions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The result multiplies by 14 the net losses it registered in 2019.
The company, which has already received a partial bailout from the Norwegian government, is pending access to a capital increase of up to 500 million euros to continue operating.