Norwegian Air is planning to temporarily lay off staff and cancel around 3,000 flights, as the deadly coronavirus outbreak continues to bite into the profits of airline companies across the globe. Companies across the world have been suffering since the outbreak of coronavirus more than a month ago and now it seems the deadly virus has started taking its toll on jobs also.
The travel industry seems to be one of the biggest casualties of coronavirus outbreak as airline companies and cruise liners across the world continue to cancel flights and voyages. Norwegian Air had earlier cancelled all its flights to and from Italy after cases of people testing positive for coronavirus escalated in the country.
Norwegian Air hit badly
Norwegian Air on Tuesday said that it was planning to lay off staff temporarily and cancel more flights, as it struggled to maintain balance amid the coronavirus outbreak. "Due to the Covid-19 situation, Norwegian is preparing to cancel approximately 3000 flights between mid-March and mid-June," the airline said in a statement. The cancellation of 3,000 flights means almost 15% of its capacity for the period.
"The company has also put several other measures in place, including temporary layoffs of a significant share of its workforce," the company further said. The airline company had earlier temporarily cancelled all its flights to Italy owing to the virus outbreak in that country.
The Italian government on Monday had announced that the country has been placed under lockdown until end of this month in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly virus. "It will affect the entire network and more details will be shared as soon as they are ready to be implemented," the airlines further said.
Job cuts a cause of concern
Cancellation of flights is just of the many things Norwegian is looking at. The temporary layoffs may further raise problems for the already troubled budget airline. The airline company last week scrapped its 2020 outlook and has already been wiped off its market value by 70% this year.
The layoffs are only likely to add to its problems. "We have initiated formal consultations with our unions regarding temporary layoffs for flying crew members as well as employees on the ground and in the offices," said Norwegian. The company also said that it will continue to engage in "constructive dialogue" with unions and employees on how to get through the situation.