Norwegian has entered into talks over pilot jobs at Gatwick after engine problems grounded some of its long–haul Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
The third largest carrier at Gatwick has wetleased four aircraft with pilots and crew for the summer to replace Dreamliners affected with troubles to their Rolls Royce engines to avoid cancelling flights.
But this means that Norwegian does not need all its 300 pilots based at the airport, the Financial Times reported.
Pilots union Balpa reportedly said the carrier was considering redundancies unless alternative options could be implemented.
These included pilots taking a leave of absence without pay for up to a year or a “career break” of 12 months.
Norwegian told Travel Weekly: “Due to well documented issues with a specific Rolls Royce Trent engine type, like all affected carriers, we have taken the decision to hire additional aircraft to avoid cancelling flights during the busy summer period.
“We continue to be in close dialogue with the engine manufacturer to ensure that a minimum number of hired aircraft are required and that customers face as little disruption as possible.
“Unfortunately this situation, which is beyond our control, has meant that we will need a small number of cabin crew to not fly during the summer season.
“We are discussing various voluntary options that include unpaid leave and part time with our crew colleagues, we are not considering redundancies for cabin crew.
“We have had positive discussions with our pilots and the unions regarding the options that are available to them and we are all working together to ensure that redundancies remain a last resort”.
Balpa said Norwegian had identified “a temporary surplus of pilots in the UK”.
Given the options offered, the union urged its members to “consider these arrangements favourably which could prevent redundancies being made”.
Difficulties with turbine blades on Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines on the 787 led to airlines grounding of 30-40 aircraft in the first quarter of the year and 40-50 in late 2018.
Norwegian also faces covering flights due to be operated by Boeing 737 Max aircraft after a global grounding of the aircraft in the wake of fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in a period of five months, killing 346 people.