Norwegian is to ground 40% of its long-haul fleet and cancel up to 25% of short-haul flights until the end of May following the US ban on travel from most of Europe.
The airline is also to temporarily lay off up to half its workforce with the warning that this number may increase – all departments will be affected by this move and the company is in consultations with unions.
Jacob Schram, Norwegian’s chief executive, said: “This is an unprecedented situation, and our main priority continues to be the care and safety of our customers and colleagues.
“The new restrictions imposed further pressure on an already difficult situation. We urge international governments to act now to ensure that the aviation industry can protect jobs and continue to be a vital part of the global economic recovery.”
The airline said that all flights between Gatwick and the US will continue to operate as normal, with Norwegian adding that its goal was to “reroute as many of our customers as possible through London during this difficult period”.
Norwegian will cancel the majority of its long-haul flights to the US from Amsterdam, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Barcelona and Paris from 13 March to the end of May. All flights between the Rome and the US will also cancelled over this same period.
The short-haul network will also be “heavily impacted” with cancellations mainly in Norway and within Scandinavia, as well as flights to Italy.