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Published on Friday, January 15, 2021

Poor decisions contributed to Norwegian long-haul demise, says union

Union officials have said poor business decisions before the pandemic contributed to the demise of Norwegian's long-haul operation after insisting staff must be the 'first priority' for the airline.

Unite described the collapse of Norwegian's UK company, with the loss of 1100 Gatwick jobs, as 'another devastating blow' for the industry.

While not specifying what those 'poor decisions' were, Unite said Covid alone was not responsible for the airline's turmoil.  

"While coronavirus travel restrictions are certainly the reason for Norwegian Air's difficulties, poor business decisions in the years preceding the pandemic have not helped," Unite regional manger Jamie Major said. "The airline's staff should not be made to shoulder the burden of Norwegian Air's UK insolvency and must be the first priority during the administration process."

Unite again called on the government to provide support for the ailing aviation sector

"For nearly a year, as thousands upon thousands of aviation jobs have been decimated by Covid-19, Unite has warned ministers that the kind of support for the industry seen in competitor nations is desperately needed here," Major said. "It is now absolutely imperative that government steps in with a stabilisation and recovery plan to prevent even more aviation jobs and businesses going to the wall."  

Unite said it is setting up emergency measures to support staff.

Norwegian yesterday confirmed it was abandoning its long-haul network to focus on short-haul routes in a bid to become a 'robust' business able to attract investors.

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