Norwegian Pilot Shortage Leads To Flight Cancellations

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Thousands of Norwegian Air Shuttle passengers have been stranded around Europe over the past week because the airline doesn’t have enough pilots to operate its flight schedule.

Norwegian Pilot Shortage

The airline in previous years had had holiday buy back program with its pilots in place where they would get double pay for operating more hours. The program was scrapped earlier this year but activated again this past week.

You can read more about this on TheLocal’s website here of which below is an excerpt:

Kjos said at a press conference that Norwegian was aware as far back as December that it would have too few pilots this summer. The airline CEO said that the pilot shortage and other factors such as aviation strikes in France have forced Norwegian to cancel a number of flights in the busy holiday season.

Kjos said at a press conference that Norwegian was aware as far back as December that it would have too few pilots this summer. The airline CEO said that the pilot shortage and other factors such as aviation strikes in France have forced Norwegian to cancel a number of flights in the busy holiday season.

“We encourage the pilots to sell their holidays so that we can safely get passengers on their way. Witnessing so many passengers struggle as of course taken its toll,” he added.

Conclusion

I read some comments that Norwegian had offered to book some affected passengers on its flights days later than what was scheduled. Rebookings on other airlines had not been offered that is mandated by the European Union legislation.

Not having enough pilots to operate flight schedule is not considered an “extraordinary circumstance” that would only require the airline to provide care for affected passengers and not cash compensation.

Everyone that was affected by the mass cancellation of Norwegian flights should apply for cash compensation per EC 261/2004. Perhaps paying millions in compensation would lead to better operations planning such as having adequate number of pilots.

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