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ALPS PLANE CRASH

CRASH

At least one Dane among Alps crash victims

At least one Danish citizen was among the 150 passengers on board an airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday.

At least one Dane among Alps crash victims
A helicopter participates in rescue efforts on Tuesday in the southeastern French town of Seyne after a Germanwings A320 crashed, killing all 150 people on board. The jet had taken off from Barcelona
The Danish Foreign Ministry's citizen services department (Borgerservice) said late on Tuesday that at least one Dane was among the 150 feared casualties of a Germanwings plane crash near the town of Dignes in the southern French Alps. 
 
 
The Foreign Ministry confirmed the Dane’s presence on the plane to TV2 News and said that it could not be ruled out that more Danish citizens may have been on board. 
 
The Germanwings plane was heading from Barcelona in Spain to Düsseldorf in Germany when it crashed around 11am on Tuesday. All 144 passengers, including 16 German school pupils and two babies, and six crew members were believed to have died.
 
 
Among the known passengers were 45 Spaniards and 67 Germans. 
 
The Foreign Ministry said that it was in close contact with German and Spanish officials and that the relatives of the Danish passenger had been notified. 
 
 
For much more on Tuesday's plane crash in the French Alps, visit The Local France, The Local Germany and The Local Spain.
 
Family members of an aircrash victim clasp one another at Barcelona's El Prat airport on Tuesday. AFP PHOTO / QUIQUE GARCIA
Family members of an aircrash victim clasp one another at Barcelona's El Prat airport on Tuesday. AFP PHOTO / QUIQUE GARCIA

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NORWEGIAN

Norwegian to slash staff by half in wake of Trump travel ban

Norwegian Air Shuttle said on Thursday it would temporarily lay off up to half its staff, following the US travel ban and the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Norwegian to slash staff by half in wake of Trump travel ban
A Boeing 737 33-S operated by Norwegian landing at Oslo's Gardermoen Airport. Photo: Erlend Aas/ NTB Scanpix/AFP
“The new restrictions imposed further pressure on an already difficult situation,” Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said in a statement, referring to the 30-day travel ban from Europe to the US introduced by US president Donald Trump.
   
“Due to the extraordinary market situation as a result of the coronavirus… we must look at all possible measures to reduce costs,” the company said in a statement.
   
“This unfortunately also includes temporary lay-offs of up to 50 percent of our employees and the number may increase,” it added, confirming the staff would be let go.
 
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The low-cost carrier also said it was cancelling more than 4,000 flights, including 3,000 already announced on Tuesday.
   
“We do not rule out that others may follow,” airline spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told AFP. “The situation is changing from minute to minute,” he told AFP.
   
According to the airline, about 40 percent of its long-haul fleet would be grounded as it was cancelling the majority of flights from European airports to the US.
   
The company said it would continue to operate flights between London — which is excluded from the travel ban — and the US, and hoped to re-route as many of its passengers as possible.
   
Norwegian, which has been in deficit for three years and is heavily indebted due to an ambitious expansion policy, especially in long-haul flights, has been plummeting on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
   
On Thursday, after the announcement by the US president, the share fell by 22 percent. The stock has fallen by over 80 percent in the last month.
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