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NORWEGIAN

Swedish passengers sue Norwegian airline

About 35,000 people have been hit by delays when flying with Norwegian - and now Swedish passengers have demanded millions of kronor in damages from the airline.

Swedish passengers sue Norwegian airline
Norwegian's Dreamliners have become a nightmare for some. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Low-budget airline Norwegian has been hit by problem after problem since beginning long-haul flights a year ago, making headlines for delays and numerous issues with its fleet, consisting of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

About 1,200 people have brought complaints about Norwegian to court, newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported.

"It's a total nightmare," one passenger said.

Just last week a Norwegian flight from Los Angeles to London was more than two days late. Another flight from Stockholm to Los Angeles that was more than a day late made passengers so upset that employees at Arlanda Airport called police to ensure their own safety. 

EU law stipulates that passengers affected by delays of more than three hours have the right to compensation of up to 600 euro, or 5,500 kronor ($800).

If all of the passengers affected by Norwegian's delays demanded compensation and won their cases, the airline could end up paying 192 million kronor ($27 million) in damages.

Norwegian has claimed that since the problems have generally been out of the airline's control, it is not obliged to compensate passengers. 

Norwegian's information officer emailed the paper to say that Norwegian always compensates passengers when it considers itself at fault for the delays.

"We absolutely do not want to blame Boeing and we have faith in Boeing. But we do think that one should be able to expect significantly better stabillity on brand new planes," she wrote. 

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NORWEGIAN

Norwegian’s subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden go bankrupt

The struggling low-cost airline Norwegian has reported its staffing subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden have filed for bankruptcy, meaning roughly three quarters of its pilots and crew will lose their jobs.

Norwegian's subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden go bankrupt
A Norwegian Air Shuttle plane: Photo: Norwegian

In a press release issued on Monday afternoon, the airline said that the financial support packages offered by the Swedish and Danish government had not been sufficiently generous to keep the subsidiaries which employ pilots and cabin crew in the two countries solvent. 

”The impact the Coronavirus has had on the airline industry is unprecedented. We have done everything we can to avoid making this last-resort decision and we have asked for access to government support in both Sweden and Denmark”, said Norwegian's chief executive Jacob Schram in the statement.  

“Our pilots and cabin crew are the core of our business and they have done a fantastic job for many years.”

“It is heart-breaking that our Swedish and Danish pilot and cabin crew subsidiaries now are forced to file for bankruptcy, and I’m truly sorry for the consequences this will have for our colleagues,”  Norwegian's chief executive Jacob Schram said in the statement.  

“We are working around the clock to get through this crisis and to return as a stronger Norwegian with the goal of bringing as many colleagues back in the air as possible.”

The company said it was also immediately ending staffing deals with the OSM Aviation, which supplies it with crew based in Spain, UK, Finland, Sweden and the US.

The company said that 1,571 pilots and 3,134 cabin crew would be affected by the move, with only the 700 pilots and 1,300 cabin crew based in Norway, France and Italy being kept on.

In the release, the company blamed the “the lack of significant financial support” from the Swedish and Danish governments, which it contrasted with that of Norway, which has agreed to pay “all salary related costs” while staff are furloughed. 

The companies declared bankrupt include: 
 
Norwegian Pilot Services Sweden AB
 
Norwegian Pilot Services Denmark ApS
 
Norwegian Cabin Services Denmark ApS
 
Norwegian Air Resources Denmark LH ApS
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