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NORWEGIAN

Minister joins attack on Norwegian

Norway's new transport minister has joined the attack on Norwegian Airline's restructuring plans, saying it is wrong for a European airline to use an Asian crew with Asian wages on its routes.

Minister joins attack on Norwegian
One of the Dreamliner aircraft Norwegian is using on its Bangkok to London route - Johan Nilsson / NTB Scanpix
Ketil Solvik Olsen, who in opposition campaigned for cuts to business regulation, is planning to send a letter to the European Commission proposing tighter laws over how European businesses staff their international operations. 
 
"Competition is a good thing. But those who succeed should do so because they work smarter and better than the competition, not because they undercut wages by obtaining low-cost labour from elsewhere," he told Norway's state broadcaster NRK.  
 
Norwegian Airlines said that its Asian staff, who fly on its new route from Florida to Bangkok, enjoyed the same working conditions as its European staff. 
 
Norwegian faces a strike across Sweden, Norway and Denmark on Monday if it fails to agree a new collective bargaining deal with its pilots by midnight on Sunday. 

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AIRLINE

Airline Norwegian posts 15 billion kroner loss after nightmare 2020

Low cost airline Norwegian has registered a loss of 14.9 billion Norwegian kroner for 2020, a year in which the company saw a drastic reduction in passenger numbers and was on the brink of bankruptcy.

A file photo of a Norwegian Air Shuttle plane in Finland.
A file photo of a Norwegian Air Shuttle plane in Finland. Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva / AFP

Low cost airline Norwegian has registered a loss of 14.9 billion Norwegian kroner for 2020, a year in which the company saw a drastic reduction in passenger numbers and was on the brink of bankruptcy.

The company published its annual results on Friday, revealing the huge operating loss.

Norwegian’s 2019 result, a loss of around 1.7 billion kroner, had put the company in a difficult position even prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak and its consequent travel restrictions reduced the company’s passenger numbers to 6.9 million in 2020. That is 29 million fewer than in 2019.

Not all of the loss is due to fewer passengers. Around half of the company’s devaluation is attributed to a depreciation of the value of its aircraft fleet, news wire Ritzau reports.

“2020 was an exceptionally demanding year for air travel and for Norwegian,” CEO Jacob Schram said in a statement on the annual results.

“In light of that, the result for the fourth quarter (of 2020) is not surprising. Unfortunately, the majority of our employees are furloughed and many have lost their jobs – in part because of the closure of long distance services,” he added.

The company was already in debt prior to the pandemic and is now under bankruptcy protection in Ireland and is undergoing similar process in Norway.

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