Widerøe deploys more planes due to cancellations
Widerøe will add two planes to their fleet as of 2019, after harsh criticism for frequent cancellations in northern Norway.
The airline responds to the criticism by adding two planes, which will be in service as of next year. The company strengthens its education of pilots and cabin crews as well, ensuring that there will no cancellations due to lack of available personnel.
Representatives from Nordland and Finnmark met with the Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) airline on Monday to discuss the company’s frequent cancellations in Northern Norway in recent months.
– We are worried about the many cancellations that have been on the STOL network in northern Norway in recent months. It was important for us to meet with Widerøe now. We raise this concern considering that we are now entering the time of the year where it is possible to expect weather cancellations, says Deputation Leader for the Finnmark County, Geir Ove Bakken.
Regards the situation seriously
Together with County Council Member from Nordland, Svein Eggesvik, he met the Manager for Strategy and Infrastructure, Terje Skram and Commercial Director Christian Skaug in Widerøe. They met at the airline’s headquarters in Bodø.
– My understanding is that Widerøe regards the situation as serious. If people can’t trust that their flight is departing according to schedule, it will be detrimental for the company’s reputation, says Eggesvik.
Last month it was revealed that the Norwegian state demands NOK 4.7 million back from Widerøe due too many cancellations on the STOL network. It is the seventh consecutive year that the state withdraws parts of the compensation to Widerøe. The SAS owned company receives NOK 450 million in compensations every year for servicing the STOL network. If there are too many delays or cancelled flights, the authorities may withdraw parts of this subsidy.
Obliged by the Norwegian state
In the contract between Norway and Widerøe, the airline has committed itself to that 98.5 per cent of the flights being carried out according to schedule.
In the period from April 2017 to March 2018, Widerøe achieved 97.5 per cent compliance. The state, therefore, requires Widerøe flyveselskap to pay back roughly one per cent of the subsidy.
– Widerøe operates in one of the world’s most demanding areas, both geographically and climatically. Periodically, weather conditions and other operating conditions may interfere with the schedule that we plan, Director of Communication and Community Contact in Widerøe, Silje Brandvoll, to the local newspaper Nordlys last month.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today