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Norwegian Air scraps 3,000 flights, plans layoffs due to coronavirus

Norwegian Air said on Tuesday (March 10) it will lay off staff and cut around 3,000 flights as the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak sends shockwaves across the travel industry.

The budget carrier said in a statement that the 3,000 flights to be cut between mid-March and mid-June correspond to around 15% of its capacity.

Norwegian earlier announced it had temporarily halted all flights to and from Italy because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The whole of Italy has been placed under lockdown until next month in an attempt to beat the spread of the virus, the government announced on Monday (March 9).

The cancellations add to an already difficult financial situation at Norwegian, which last week scrapped its 2020 outlook and has lost 70% of its market value this year.

In Norway, passenger air traffic fell by 5% in the final days of February, following the confirmation on Feb. 26 of the country’s first coronavirus case, national airport operator Avinor said.

(Production: Ilze Filks)

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