As a result of the US restrictions on travel to most of Europe, Norwegian Air slashed 4,000 flights and will lay off at least half of its employees, according to a company press release.
Norwegian decided to ground 40% of its long-haul fleet and cancel up to 25% of its short-haul flights until the end of May.
Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said: "This is an unprecedented situation and our main priority continues to be the care and safety of our customers and colleagues."
"The new restrictions imposed further pressure on an already difficult situation. We urge international governments to act now to ensure that the aviation industry can protect jobs and continue to be a vital part of the global economic recovery," Schram said.
Travel restrictions and crashing demand across the world have resulted in more than 200,000 flights canceled.
Airports are empty across the world...
#Coronavirus: Planes are flying virtually empty across the world as airlines battle to keep hold of their slots.— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 11, 2020
Under European law, carriers have to fill their slots at major airports at least 80% of the time or risk losing them.
Read more on this here: https://t.co/qmy3C4Qnom pic.twitter.com/M4J9aDknqP
Saturday afternoon, Melbourne airport. Pretty much empty. pic.twitter.com/TAssXbjMVj— Sally Neighbour (@neighbour_s) March 7, 2020
What to make of the virus and the economy? Here’s O’Hare airport in Chicago tonight at 7pm rush hour ... pic.twitter.com/OzYNWoWLxa— Evan Feigenbaum (@EvanFeigenbaum) March 3, 2020