Airline Norwegian could ‘find alternative’ to Copenhagen Airport over delays

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Airline Norwegian could ‘find alternative’ to Copenhagen Airport over delays
A Norwegian Boeing 737 takes off from Copenhagen Airport. The airline is considering an "alternative" airport to operate its flights because of ongoing delays related to an air traffic control staffing dispute. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Airline Norwegian says it is considering operating flights from an alternative hub to Copenhagen Airport, as staff shortages at air traffic control continue to cause delays.


A shortage of air traffic controllers and ongoing dispute between their trade union and Naviair, their employer, has resulted in delays for hundreds of thousands of passengers in recent weeks.

“We have to look at alternative airports that are close to Copenhagen Airport,” Norwegian CEO Geir Karlsen told news wire Ritzau.

“I don’t know whether that will be possible at such short notice,” he said.

“But this conflict is cause for increasing concern and that concern will grow further as capacity increases during the summer,” he said.


The low-cost airline is reported to have expressed its concern over the situation to the Danish government.

It has also reportedly been in contact with Scandinavian SAS to discuss the matter.

Naviair wants its staff to take on extra shifts due to the shortage but has also said it has increased intake on training programmes to eventually increase the number of staff available. 

The air traffic controls have said that the overtime is not at a manageable level, and that they have taken 1,500 additional shifts so far this year.

The shortage of staff in the area is related to layoffs during the Covid-19 crisis and difficulty in replacing people who left the profession.

A meeting between the two sides of the conflict on Thursday did not resolve the dispute, while figures from April show that some 45 percent of flights from Copenhagen Airport were delayed last month.

In total, around a million passengers were affected by delays in just over a quarter of a year, with May seeing the issue continue.

Around 10,000 of the 89,000 passengers expected to travel through CPH airport on Friday were likely to be delayed, the airport’s head of traffic Kristoffer Plenge told Ritzau. The figure is somewhat lower than the 40,000 delayed journeys reported on Monday this week.


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