Norwegian has announced it will end all its long-haul flights from Sweden and Denmark from March 29, 2020.
The low-cost carrier blamed “overall demand and commercial viability”.
It currently flies from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Bangkok, Boston, Buenos Aires, Miami, Orlando and JFK, as well as to Los Angeles from Stockholm.
A spokesperson told Business Traveller:
“As Norwegian moves from growth to profitability, we take a strict approach to route management and constantly evaluate route performance to ensure we meet customer demand.
“Following a comprehensive review of our global network, overall demand and commercial viability - combined with ongoing operational issues with Rolls-Royce engines on our Dreamliner aircraft - we have decided to discontinue long-haul flights from Stockholm and Copenhagen.
“At the same time, we are experiencing increased demand on a series of well-performing routes.
“To meet this demand, we are adding more frequencies on flights from London, Paris and Barcelona to several cities in the US, enabling even more choice and affordable fares to the flying public on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Senior Vice President Commercial Matthew Wood said in a statement: “Scandinavia isn’t big enough to maintain intercontinental flights from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen.”
It will not affect short- and medium-haul routes from Denmark and Sweden.
News website The Local reports that flights will continue to operate from Oslo to the US, but the Oslo-Bangkok route will not continue in summer 2020.
After a period of rapid growth, Norwegian faced a tough year in 2018 due to volatile oil prices and the grounding of some of its B787 aircraft due to issues with Rolls Royce’s Trent engines.
It announced that in 2019 it would embark on a cost-saving programme aimed at saving two billion krone (£186.3 million).
This year it was again forced to lease aircraft to cover routes, following the grounding of its fleet of 18 B737 Max aircraft, while B787 engine issues have persisted.
Seeing opportunity in the less competitive South American market, it launched Gatwick-Rio de Janeiro (joining Gatwick-Buenos Aires) and has added domestic routes on its subsidiary Norwegian Air Argentina.
Last month it agreed a long-awaited aircraft ownership joint venture with China Leasing International Corporation (CCBLI), which will finance, own and lease aircraft that Norwegian has on order.
While the aircraft it currently has have been grounded, some observers had argued the airline had too many new aircraft in its order book.
Norwegian said the move, which will initially cover 27 A320 neos due to be delivered between 2020 and 2023, would reduce its committed capital expenditure by around US£1.5 billion
In October, Norwegian announced net profit for the second quarter of NOK 82.8 million (£7.7 million).
It said that “despite the reduced production growth and grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, the underlying operating result before ownership costs more than doubled from the same quarter in 2018”.
Next year it has said it will reduce capacity by 10 per cent, the first time it has ever planned to shrink, Reuters reports.
The airline will welcome its new CEO, Jacob Schram, on January 1.
Read Alex McWhirter’s take on the challenges of the low-cost, long-haul model here: