DALLAS – Norwegian low-cost carrier (LCC) Flyr (FS) has announced a capacity reduction of 50% this winter to cut costs. FS will continue to serve several popular European destinations but will cut domestic routes in Norway to a minimum.
Flyr plans to save approximately US$38m (NOK400m) through the reductions. FS will put non-profitable routes on hold and maintain sufficient staffing to operate five or six aircraft throughout the winter.
Route reductions will be seen between November and March. FS will continue to serve Alicante (ALC), Malaga (AGP), Las Palmas (LPA), Barcelona (BCN), Rome (FCO), Paris (CDG), Nice (NCE), Berlin, and Brussels (BRU). The airline will continue to offer flights from Oslo (OSL) to Bergen (BGO) and Trondheim (TRD), along with a few ‘Christmas Routes’ in December.
The airline is putting the blame on recent interest rate increases, high inflation, and record high energy prices, along with the rise in jet fuel prices. The LCC said they expect customer spending to decrease significantly throughout the winter season.
Flyr’s Chief Executive Officer, Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid, stated, “We have experienced satisfactory demand on our routes to European holiday destinations and will maintain a selection of popular destinations for the coming winter. At the same time, we must admit that it has taken longer than expected to build loyalty among business travelers on domestic routes in Norway, where the incumbent carriers maintain large market shares.”
“Development of solutions for distribution through travel agencies, where the majority of business travelers book their flights, has also taken too long. Moreover, it has not been to our advantage that the government in Norway has contributed billions of NOK in COVID-19-related financial aid to our main competitors.”
Flyr has also stated it will lay off several employees, with Wikstrøm Frislid saying, “Unfortunately, this also forces us to furlough several of our dear colleagues. However, our goal is to put in place voluntary arrangements to retain as many as possible. By implementing these measures, we will be well positioned to ramp up with full force for the coming spring and summer.”
Flyr does intend to evaluate air travel demand continuously. This will allow them to ramp up operations when demand picks up again, and they may bring employees back on short notice. Wikstrøm Frislid feels confident that the airline represents something new to the industry, and customers have been very positive with the feedback given.
Featured image: Flyr LN-FGJ 737 MAX 8. Alberto Cucini/Airways