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Airline Norwegian hit by 61% fall in passenger numbers in March

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Airline Norwegian suffered a 61% drop in demand last month.

The budget carrier said it carried 1.2 million passengers in March, compared with 3 million during the same month in 2019.

Norwegian chief executive Jacob Schram said: “The speed of the Covid-19 global outbreak throughout March had a profound impact on the entire Norwegian network as cancellations, in line with global travel advice and falling demand, were implemented throughout the month.”

The Scandinavian airline reduced its flight schedule several times last month in response to the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

This culminated in capacity being cut by up to 85%.

Some 7,300 staff members have been temporarily laid off by Norwegian, which equates to 90% of its workforce.

It has shaken up the long-haul market by offering flights at knockdown prices.

But the airline’s finances have struggled amid its rapid expansion, and in recent years it has been forced to cut costs to regain profitability.

All airlines have suffered as a result of Covid-19, with British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair among those serving the UK which have grounded the majority of their fleets.

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