Internal restructuring
Location of affected unit(s)
Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø, Kristiansand. Bodø, Torp, Trondheim
Transportation / Storage
Warehousing And Support Activities For Transportation, Postal And Courier Activities
Warehousing And Support Activities For Transportation
52.23 - Service activities incidental to air transportation

325 - 550 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
11 November 2020
Employment effect (start)
1 February 2021
Foreseen end date


Aviation ground services provider Widerøe Ground Handling (WGH) is cutting up to 550 jobs after losing a tender to supply ground services to SAS in Bergen, Tromsø and Kristiansand from February 2021. The company has notified the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration of up to 550 upcoming dismissals at airports in Norway. Trade union Parat indicated that as many as 800 employees or 500 full-time employees or equivalent could be affected, a number which the company has since disputed and stated that the cuts will amount to 325 full-time employees or equivalent and that 600 employees would be involved in dismissal negotiations in late December 2020.

Local and central unions have been involved in deliberations from the beginning of the restructuring. Trade union representative Svanhild Hogner in Parat WGH directed criticism towards the process, stating that too many employees are being dismissed when temporary dismissals could have been used instead. The union has also stated that it hopes some of the dismissals will be offset by internal recruitment as the company recently secured a contract for ground services for SAS at Oslo airport. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing volume reduction at airports, around 500 employees in the company were temporarily dismissed in November 2020. A number of these dismissals will now be made permanent, as a result of the prolonged travel restrictions as well as the non-renewed ground service contract. The health crisis hit the Norwegian aviation industry hard. At Oslo airport, 3-4,000 out of a total 15,000 employees have been temporarily dismissed, and a number of other similar companies have conducted job cuts. 



Eurofound (2020), Widerøe Ground Handling, Internal restructuring in Norway, factsheet number 102993, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/102993.