Norwegian has announced on Wednesday a cost reduction plan that includes the closure of its bases in Palma de Mallorca, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, as well as the cancellation of the Tenerife South-Rome route and capacity reductions in some other routes. This decision will not affect any of the other five bases of Norwegian in Spain: Alicante, Barcelona (with two bases: short and long radio), Malaga or Madrid, nor its corporate headquarters in Barcelona.
Also, of the 122 routes on offer from 13 Spanish airports, only the one that connects Tenerife South with Rome will be canceled, although the airline has specified that there will be a certain number of small capacity reductions in some other routes in Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife.
Specifically, starting next summer, the routes connecting Palma de Mallorca with the cities of Copenhagen will be affected, from 14 to 13 weekly frequencies, Oslo, from 9 to 8 weekly frequencies, Dusseldorf, from 9 to 7 weekly frequencies, and Helsinki, from 7 to 6 weekly frequencies. The Tenerife North-Madrid route will also do it, which will go from 9 to 7 weekly frequencies.
Norwegian, the sixth largest airline in Spain by passenger volume, transported 8.93 million passengers in our country during 2018, 6% more than in 2017.
Cost reduction program
As part of its cost reduction program, Norwegian has initiated a comprehensive review of the operations of its Boeing 737 (both the 800 and MAX 8 models), with the objective of improving profitability, reducing the commercial impact of seasonality and , therefore, increase revenues and profitability and reduce costs.
The aim of the Norwegian airline, which employs 11,000 people around the world, is to ensure that the least possible number of workers are affected by these changes. For this, it proposes the transfer to the long-range operation (with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner), a basic transfer or facilities in the relocation requests, all in an attempt to avoid casualties.
All these measures will result in the suspension of routes and bases in Europe and the United States starting in April and during most of 2019. The decision affects some of the routes that are being operated by the Boeing 737-800 and 737 models. MAX 8, which are mainly used in European routes but also in those that connect with the United States or the Middle East.
"The company has reached a point where it needs to make the necessary adjustments in its route portfolio to improve its sustainability and financial performance amid this highly competitive environment," said Helga Bollmann Leknes, Norwegian commercial director and managing director of Norwegian Air Resources. He also explained that these measures have been transferred to the unions, with which dialogue has already begun, and has reiterated the "clear objective" of avoiding casualties.