Norwegian has cut its route network to just a dozen domestic services and furloughed a further 1,600 staff after its fresh bid for financial support was turned down by Norway’s government.
On Monday (9 November), Norwegian warned it faced "a very uncertain future" after ministers refused to provide further state aid, and said the move risked damaging the country’s competitiveness.
Prior to the pandemic, Norwegian employed more than 10,000 people but will now operate with just 600. It has also parked 15 of the 21 aircraft it had been operating in recent months.
"Norwegian is forced to furlough employees and reduce capacity considerably following the government’s decision to not support the company financially to get through the coronavirus crisis while simultaneously imposing travel restrictions that actively discourage passengers from travelling," said the carrier on Tuesday (10 November).
"The consequences of the government-imposed travel restrictions are critical and Norwegian needs to keep its running costs to a minimum, while the company continues to work on solutions to survive."
Chief executive Jacob Schram added: "Recent government-imposed travel restrictions have effectively stifled any hope of a stable and progressive recovery.
"Norwegian has been hit from all sides by factors outside of our control. This is a sad day for everyone at Norwegian and I sincerely apologise to all our colleagues that are now affected, but there is no other alternative.
"Our goal is to keep six aircraft on domestic routes in Norway, and I expect that Norwegian will also receive route support from the Ministry of Transportation, as previously announced."
Norwegian will serve Alta, Bergen, Bodo, Evenes, Haugesund, Kirkenes, Molde, Stavanger, Tromso, Trondheim and Alesund from Oslo, and will also fly from Tromso to Longyearbyen.
Back in March, it secured the first tranche of a state aid package worth up to £250 million, and subsequently agreed a "debt-for-equity" deal with shareholders, financiers and aircraft lessors to free up more cash.
However, talks with government over a potential part-nationalisation plan in September and early October did not come to fruition, with Norwegian confirming on Monday that Norway’s government was not prepared to provide the airline further financial assistance.