Norwegian Air started a low-cost transatlantic revolution but coronavirus and the airline's Boeing planes pushed it to the brink of collapse
- Norwegian Air Shuttle and its subsidiaries are on the brink of collapse as a lack of demand for travel due to COVID-19 and government travel restrictions are crippling the airline's business.
- A popular European low-cost airline, Norwegian expanded into intercontinental travel in 2013, which was the beginning of the airline's problems.
- Both of the aircraft the airline used for long-haul flights, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 737 Max 8 were plagued with faulty systems and engines, costing the airline financially.
- The spread of COVID-19 and President Donald Trump's European travel ban also cut to the heart of the airline's core business, leaving it at risk for collapse, industry experts say.
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One of European's largest airlines is on the brink of collapse and the low-cost revolution in the transatlantic market may be coming to an end.
Norwegian Air Shuttle and its numerous subsidiaries, known simply as Norwegian, are at risk to cease operations as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across Europe and governments across the world restrict travel to prevent future outbreaks.
Major blows to the ambitious low-cost carrier known for its intra-European and transatlantic long-haul operations came as President Donald Trump largely banned travel between the US and Continental Europe, later extending it to the United Kingdom and Ireland, affecting the core of the airline's costly long-haul division.
Following the first round of the president's travel restrictions to Europe, Norwegian announced it would be reducing 40% of its long-haul flying since multiple routes it had operated touched Continental European destinations affected by the ban.
As demand for travel continued to plummet and the UK and Ireland were added to Trump's travel ban, Norwegian announced that 85% of its flights would be canceled and thousands of employees would be let go, bringing the airline closer to the edge.
The low-cost carrier iconic for its red nose airplanes largely connects popular European leisure and business destinations with cities across the Americas with nonstop flights for as low as $100.
Norwegian gavie low-cost, long-haul to a new meaning, taking advantage of the newest, fuel-efficient aircraft of the time to take on the major carriers and inspire a revolution in air travel that made transatlantic flying more accessible.
As ambitious and egalitarian as the airline was, it was ultimately let down by the very aircraft that made its business model viable combined with crippling travel restrictions enacted to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Take a look at Norwegian Air Shuttle.
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