Struggling Norwegian cruise operator to slash a fourth of employees

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OSLO - Norway's Hurtigruten cruise line says it will streamline operations and slash staff by 25-30 per cent in an effort to increase profitability.

The company has struggled with rising fuel and employee costs and in 2011 suffered its worst accident in a half-century after two crew members died and nine others were injured due to a fire on board the MS Nordlys. Some 260 passengers had to be evacuated.

Hurtigruten ASA said Monday that it would start to implement the new cuts at the end of March. According to last year's annual report, the company had over 1,900 part-time and full-time employees in 2011.

The bulk of Hurtigruten's business comes from cruise trips along Norway's expansive coastline and picturesque fjords.

Geographic location: Norway, OSLO

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