Widerøe to Cut Flights in October Due to Slump in Demand

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Widerøe Embraer E190-LN-WEX
Widerøe Embraer E190-LN-WEX Photo: Jan Einar Fardal / Widerøe

Widerøe ,the largest regional airline operating in the Nordic countries, has announced that it will reduce the planned number of flights to domestic destinations from October 1 due to a significant decline in demand for flights.

The loss of government purchases and reductions in fees also contributed the airlines’s decision to slash frequencies on commercial short-haul routes.

The airline has battled with the profitability of commercial short-haul routes for several years. The novel coronavirus pandemic has led to a sharp slump in demand for flights in Norway, further affecting the viability of the routes.

Norway’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has been purchasing a minimum offer on commercial short-haul routes since March to ensure critical infrastructure in the districts. However, the state’s support will end October.

The Norwegian authorities were also out early and decided on reductions in taxes and fees to remedy the crisis-stricken aviation industry. These aids will end on October 31.

“With the market situation we see ahead and the framework conditions that will apply, Widerøe will unfortunately have to reduce the offer on a number of commercial short-haul routes,” said the airline.

“Widerøe is not satisfied with the route offer that the affected destinations receive as a result of the adjustments that we now have to make. Unfortunately, we have no choice and have to adapt to the framework conditions and demand that apply at all times,” said Christian Skaug, Commercial Director in Widerøe.

“We are a commercial company fighting to survive in the midst of a pandemic. Without state aid, we will unfortunately not be able to maintain these routes, and we are sincerely sorry for that, Skaug concludes.”

widerøe bombardier q400
Widerøe Bombardier Q400 Photo: Widerøe

Widerøe Flight Schedule Changes in October

The direct route from Skagen to Tromsø will be cut. Passengers going to / from Tromsø  will be able to travel via Bodø. The airline plans to retain two daily flights between Bodø and Skagen.

The airline will axe flights from and to Skagen, Vadsø, Kirkenes, Florø og Hovden.

RouteCurrent FrequencyFrequency in October
Vadsø – Tromsø2 daily flights1 daily flight
Kirkenes – Tromsø2 daily flights1 daily flight
Florø – Bergen4 daily flights3 daily flights
Florø – Oslo2 daily flights1 daily flight
Hovden – Oslo2 daily flights1 daily flight

The routes that the airline serves on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Communications are not affected by the changes.

Widerøe Flights are of Great Importance in Norway

Widerøe AS is the parent company of the group’s ground handling, airline, technical services and Internet subsidiaries. In total, the company employs approximately 3,000 people. WGH handles ground services at 42 airports in Norway and Widerøe operates flights to 50 destinations in Norway and Europe.

In Norway, the airline’s flight operations are of great importance for both business, healthcare, education, tourism and culture. The company, Norway’s oldest airline, serve as the public transport of Norway’s rural and hard-to-reach towns.

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