Two Norwegian low-cost airlines trim schedules ahead of ‘challenging’ winter

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Two new Norwegian low-cost carriers Norse Atlantic Airways and Flyr have announced they will be trimming flight schedules and routes for the upcoming winter season due expected low passenger demand, high general cost inflation, and record high energy prices.   

Flyr prepares for a “challenging winter season” 

Oslo-based budget carrier Flyr, which entered the Norwegian commercial aviation market in 2020, recently announced that it will reduce domestic routes in Norway “to a minimum” as it prepares for “the challenging winter season ahead”.   

The decision is part of measures to temporarily cut costs by 50% with an estimated reduction in cash burn through the winter of up to $37.7 million (NOK 400 million).   

“In order to reduce cash burn, Flyr will put non-profitable routes on hold, and maintain sufficient personnel to operate 5-6 aircraft during the winter. Our decision to make use of furloughs is based on thorough assessments and in dialogue with union representatives,” Flyr said in a statement dated October 4, 2022.  

“Employees may be furloughed full-time or part-time in several stages, depending on how the situation develops. The Company aims to put in place voluntary arrangements to reduce the extent of furloughs,” the carrier explained.  

According to Flyr CEO Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid, the measures will mean the airline is “well positioned to ramp-up with full force for the coming spring and summer”.  

But for the upcoming winter season, which will take place between November 2022 and March 2023, the carrier will only operate routes across a few destinations in Europe, such as Alicante (ALC), Malaga (AGP), Las Palmas (LPA), Barcelona (BCN), Roma (FCN), Paris (CDG), Nice (NCE), Berlin (BER) and Brussels (BRU).  

Meanwhile, Flyr’s domestic network for winter will consist of flights between Oslo (OSL) and Bergen (BGO), Trondheim (TRD) alongside a few Christmas destinations across the country.  

“We are entering a demanding winter season where discretionary consumer spending is expected to decrease significantly following the recent interest rate hikes, high general cost inflation, and record high energy prices. This is hard-hitting to the airline industry and Flyr as a company, and will result in reduced demand for air travel,” the CEO said.   

“This, together with the lasting high jet-fuel prices, leaves us with no other option than to adjust our route offering for the coming winter season. Unfortunately, this also forces us to furlough several of our colleagues,” he added.  

Norse Atlantic Airways trims winter schedule by 31%  

Norwegian low-cost carrier, Arendal-based Norse Atlantic Airways, also seems to be facing a similar problem.   

According to a report published by Life in Norway on October 3, the airline trimmed its winter schedule by 31% and removed two routes completely, including flights between New York (JFK) and Berlin (BER) and the airline’s service between Orlando (MCO) and Oslo (OSL).  

Instead of 36 weekly flights across eight routes, which were initially planned for the winter season, Norse Atlantic decided to operate 25 weekly flights on six routes.  

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