Norwegian (Oslo Gardermoen) has terminated its agreement with dedicated crew management company OSM Aviation, which it part-owned, and has taken over full permanent employer responsibility for 3,000 pilots and cabin crew in Spain, the UK, and the USA.

They will now be placed under Norwegian on an equal footing with employees in Norway, France, and Italy, where the company is already a direct employer.

However, the changes will not mean that laid-off employees will be able to return to work before traffic picks up again, Norwegian stressed in a statement.

“It is a big and important strategic step on the road for the New Norwegian that we now take over the entire and full responsibility for the companies where we have our flying staff employed. Having direct communication with our own staff is absolutely crucial for building the New Norwegian,” CEO Jacob Schram said in the statement.

He added that Norwegian has been, and expects to continue to be, in dialogue with employee unions in the three countries.

In April, Norwegian declared four of its staffing companies in Sweden and Denmark bankrupt, in addition to notifying OSM and pilot provider Rishworth Aviation that several staffing agreements were to be cancelled.

At the end of June, OSM Aviation bankrupted three of its own subsidiaries in Finland and Sweden, blaming non-payment from Norwegian, E24 Næringsliv reported. Norwegian responded that “we do not agree with that description of reality.”

“In fact, Norwegian ended its collaboration with us already in April when they put their planes on the ground,” OSM Aviation CEO Espen Høiby said in a statement.

However, “now we get a settlement for everything outstanding, and we get more freedom to continue working with our other customers and to develop other services that we have already experienced great and growing demand for,” he added.