The low-cost airline is cutting its long-haul offering in Scandinavia. Norwegian wants to expand elsewhere.
«For too long, the market for long-haul flights has been dominated by high fares with very little flexibility,» said Bjørn Kjos, then head of the airline, when Norwegian first started long-haul flights six and a half years ago. As a result, the Norwegian low-cost airline continued to expand its services. But for some months now it has been cutting its long haul flights.
And now Norwegian is cutting back at home in Scandinavia as well: by the end of the winter timetable in April 2020, the airline will be discontinuing all long-haul flights from Stockholm and Copenhagen. In the Swedish and Danish capitals, connections to the United States and Thailand will thus be discontinued.
Problems with Dreamliners
The Scandinavian market is not big enough to offer intercontinental flights from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen, Norwegian commercial chief Matthew Wood said in a press release on Wednesday (27 November). In addition, the continuing problems with the Rolls-Royce engines of the Boeing 787 are a burden for the airline. This also affects network planning.
In Oslo, Norway, the routes to the USA remain untouched. The route to Bangkok, on the other hand, will not be offered this summer. The low-cost airline is still determining whether this route and the route from Oslo to Krabi will be available again in the winter of 2020/21.
In the future, the airline intends to concentrate more on connections between other major European cities and the USA. The airline sees strong demand in London, Barcelona and Paris for a number of destinations in the United States. Therefore, Norwegian announces, frequencies will be increased there without giving details.
In mid-November, the low-cost airline had already announced three new connections between Europe and the USA for the summer: non-stop flights from Paris and Rome to Chicago and non-stop flights from Rome to Denver. On the other hand, it will discontinue the Madrid – New York route.
Routes to Germany cancelled
Norwegian is under financial pressure and has changed course from growth to profitability. North Rhine-Westphalia has already felt the effects: In the current winter flight schedule Norwegian cancelled all flights to and from Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn. Soon a new Norwegian boss will be responsible for the restructuring: Jacob Schram will assume his post in January 2020.