More than 4,000 Norwegian Air pilots and cabin crew face losing their jobs after the coronavirus crisis forced the grounding of all flights.

Four firms which employ 1,571 pilots and 3,134 cabin crew in Denmark and Sweden have filed for bankruptcy, the airline confirmed.

The budget carrier said: “Unfortunately, despite the measures that the company has already taken to reduce costs, the board of these companies are left with no choice but to apply for bankruptcy.

“Despite the measures that the company has already taken, coupled with the lack of significant financial support from the Swedish and Danish governments, we are left with no choice.”

Norwegian has also cancelled crew provision agreements with several of its jointly-owned OSM Aviation subsidiaries which have crew based in Spain, UK, Finland, Sweden and the US.

About 700 pilots and 1,300 cabin crew based in Norway, France and Italy are not affected.

The airline’s chief executive Jacob Schram said: “‘The impact the coronavirus has had on the airline industry is unprecedented.

“We have done everything we can to avoid making this last-resort decision and we have asked for access to government support in both Sweden and Denmark.

“Our pilots and cabin crew are the core of our business and they have done a fantastic job for many years.

“It is heart-breaking that our Swedish and Danish pilot and cabin crew subsidiaries now are forced to file for bankruptcy, and I’m truly sorry for the consequences this will have for our colleagues.

“We are working around the clock to get through this crisis and to return as a stronger Norwegian with the goal of bringing as many colleagues back in the air as possible.”