Norwegian has announced it will be stopping long-haul flights and focusing on its short-haul route network.

    The airline says it will be focusing on its core Nordics business, operating a European short-haul network with narrowbody aircraft.

    Jacob Schram, Norwegian’s CEO commented on the announcement: “Our short-haul network has always been the backbone of Norwegian and will form the basis of a future resilient business model.”

    “I am pleased to present a robust business plan today, which will provide a new start for the company. By focusing our operation on a short haul network, we aim to attract existing and new investors, serve our customers and support the wider infrastructure and travel industry in Norway and across the Nordics and Europe.”

    The carrier, which recently furloughed additional 1,600 employees, says its current plan is to serve these markets with around 50 narrowbody aircraft in operation in 2021 and to increase that number to around 70 in 2022. Norwegian will also target to reduce its debt significantly to around NOK 20 billion and to raise NOK 4-5 billion in new capital through a combination of a rights issue to current shareholders, a private placement and a hybrid instrument.

    “Our focus is to rebuild a strong, profitable Norwegian so that we can safeguard as many jobs as possible. We do not expect customer demand in the long-haul sector to recover in the near future, and our focus will be on developing our short-haul network as we emerge from the reorganisation process”, said Schram.

    “It is with a heavy heart that we must accept that this will impact dedicated colleagues from across the company. I would like to thank each one of our affected colleagues for their tireless dedication and contribution to Norwegian over the years.”

    Norwegian says it has reinitiated a dialogue with the Norwegian government about possible state participation based on the new business plan.

    For more information, see stock exchange announcement HERE.