Unite the union has today (27 September) disputed the reasons given by Norwegian Airlines to axe three transatlantic routes from Edinburgh Airport by March 2019.

Unite the union, as representatives of the workforce, are holding a meeting in Edinburgh tonight to consider a series of options including moves towards industrial action. The airline routes were opened in January 2017 with the creation of 130 posts when the airline chose Edinburgh as its new base. The decision will reduce the airline’s operations from six to three routes from Edinburgh. Edinburgh-based crew will be offered the potential to transfer to the airline’s other bases including Gatwick.

Norwegian Airlines blamed the failure of the Scottish government to halve air passenger duty (APD) as the ‘main factor’ but cited other commercial reasons for the decision to axe routes from Belfast Airport to the United States where the tax is at zero for long-haul flights.

Sandy Smart, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The decision by Norwegian Airlines to reduce its routes from Edinburgh and close its base, blaming the Scottish government’s failure to halve air passenger duty, while finding other reasons to do the same in Belfast is nothing but a smokescreen. The reality is that Norwegian Airlines are grappling for the best excuse it can find for its management failures and Unite members at Edinburgh Airport can see right through this. We will consult our members on what next steps we will take and industrial action is firmly on the table.”


For more information contact Sandy Smart on 07810157927.

Notes to editors:

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.