Air France-KLM (Paris and Amsterdam) and Lufthansa (Frankfurt) and other interested parties have petitioned the European Commission on denying the application of Norwegian Air International (Dublin). ALPA (above) has also taken a strong stand against NAI.
The parties issued this open letter to the EC:
To: President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice-President Frans Timmermans
Cc: Commissioners Violeta Bulc and Marianne Thyssen
9.3 million jobs in danger!
We request a firm stance of the new European Commission against abuses of European social standards in the field of aviation!
A new airline has been established called “Norwegian Air International” that wants to offer scheduled services from the UK to the US. They have received an Irish license for this and they intend to employ crewmembers from Thailand that are hired through a Singaporean agency.
Competition in aviation is intense and it keeps us sharp. However, through business models like this we risk entering a downward spiral to the social bottom, risking thousands of qualified European jobs. European aviation currently provides 9.3 million jobs and adds 512 billion Euros to European GDP.
Your new Commission has chosen the strengthening of Europe’s competitiveness as its no. 1 priority and wants to give a stronger boost to jobs, growth and investment.
How can the Commission strengthen aviation’s competitiveness if it allows such abuses of European standards?
If we allow Norwegian Air International to start employing Thai crew on the EU-US routes, others will soon follow and jobs will be lost inside the European Union and created elsewhere. In the maritime sector we have already seen this same scenario play out, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. It would be foolish to let the same happen to aviation. Therefore we need your support.
We count on you!
The US has temporarily denied Norwegian Air International’s request for a foreign carrier permit. The European Commission should now take a strong stance and prevent Norwegian Air International from abusing European social standards and legislation through employing Thai crew. We need to preserve European jobs instead of outsourcing them to other continents.
If the European Commission is serious about its jobs and growth commitment, we deserve your support. 9.3 million aviation colleagues count on you.
Signed on November 21, 2014 by
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo) has again called on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve its pending Irish application to operate its Boeing 787s as Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin). The 787s are currently operated by Norwegian subsidiary Norwegian Long Haul although the aircraft are registered in Ireland. The airline issued this statement claiming the DOT has “received strong opposition from those interests seeking to undermine competition, limit consumer choice and maintain the status quo”. Here is the full statement:
Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjørn Kjos, who will address a standing-room only audience on November 20 at the International Aviation Club, will reinforce the benefits Norwegian Air International (NAI) service will bring to competition in the transatlantic market, the traveling public, and the global aviation industry. Kjos will again call on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to once and for all approve Norwegian’s application for a foreign air carrier permit that will provide American consumers lower fares and greater choice in air travel.
“Norwegian’s vision is ‘Everyone Should Afford to Fly,’ and it is a principle we intend to bring to individuals and families seeking to travel between the United States and Europe,” said Mr. Kjos. “NAI will provide the traveling public with an innovative, low-cost option that offers award-winning service to new and underserved destinations on brand-new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft. DOT approval of NAI’s application is the final barrier preventing American consumers from the choice they so desperately want and deserve.”
Norwegian Air International, which completed its DOT foreign air carrier permit application in February 2014, has received strong opposition from those interests seeking to undermine competition, limit consumer choice and maintain the status quo. Close to 90 percent of transatlantic air traffic is controlled by the three airline mega-alliances that are permitted to operate with immunity from U.S. antitrust laws. As a consequence, airfares have risen significantly without commensurate improvements in service, and “capacity discipline” by the alliances has severely limited growth in the number of available passenger seats while pushing U.S. airline profits to record levels.
“I believe the values of innovation, competition and the rule of law – so highly prized here in the United States – will serve to overcome the opposition NAI has received from entrenched interests,” said Kjos. “I am confident that adherence to international agreements and the law will be the factors upon which DOT ultimately relies to decide this matter. I am equally confident NAI’s application will be approved by DOT, albeit far overdue.”
Norwegian Air International will open a market of new travelers previously unable to afford the high fares currently offered by the legacy carriers, while serving more destinations worldwide. NAI will directly contribute to President Obama’s goal of generating 100 million foreign visitors to the United States by 2021. Norwegian already employs 300 American cabin crewmembers in Fort Lauderdale and New York, and currently is recruiting American pilots at its New York pilot base. Of the 300 cabin crew, for which Norwegian received more than 7,00 applications, the vast majority worked previously for U.S. airlines and chose to join Norwegian for the pay, benefits and team-spirited environment.
NAI meets all statutory and regulatory requirements to serve the United States and is entitled to DOT approval “with minimum procedural delay” under the U.S.—E.U. Air Transport Agreement. Nevertheless, a full nine months after applying to DOT, NAI continues to await a decision that will allow it to begin low-fare transatlantic service to and from the United States.
“The time is well-past due for the Department of Transportation to fulfill its legal responsibility and approve NAI’s application,” said Kjos.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LNG (msn 35314) with Edvard Munch, Norwegian artist, on the tail, arrives in Los Angeles.
Video: By sjcbenw. Description: Cockpit view of Norwegian Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner landing Runway 01R at Stockholm Arlanda (ARN).
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com and Norwegian Long Haul) (Oslo) reported a net profit of NOK 373.8 million ($57.0 million) for the third quarter, down 14% from a net profit of NOK 435.9 million ($65.8 million) for the same quarter in 2013.
The airline issued this full report:
Norwegian reports strong growth in all European markets with a capacity increase of 36 percent and a load factor of 85 percent in its third quarter results. The pre-tax result (EBT) was 505 MNOK, compared to 604 MNOK the same quarter previous year. The costs associated with wet-leasing replacement aircraft and a weak Norwegian Krone (NOK) significantly affected the figures.
Even with strong passenger growth, the load factor was high and increased by three percentage points to 85 percent in the third quarter. Norwegian carried 7.1 million passengers this quarter and the company’s operations at London Gatwick had the strongest passenger growth.
The pre-tax result (EBT) was 505 MNOK, compared to 604 MNOK the same quarter previous year. The combination of a weak Norwegian Krone (NOK), the delayed approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation and costs associated with flight delays, affected the results this quarter. Wet-leasing replacement aircraft and extra fuel, as well as accommodation, food and drink for delayed passengers also created extra costs. The costs associated with the long overdue application before the U.S. Department of Transportation for a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International were also considerable. The application is in full accordance with the Open Skies Agreement between the EU and the U.S.
“We’re very satisfied that throughout our world-wide route network, an increasing number of new passengers choose Norwegian. Norwegian has recently received several international awards and was even named ‘Europe’s best low-cost airline’ the second year running. However, we have also experienced some turbulence this quarter. Our results are affected by additional costs related to the pending U.S. permit for our subsidiary in Dublin, consequently reducing our ability to optimize our fleet of aircraft. Even though technical difficulties with our Boeing 787 Dreamliners have also caused additional costs, our long-haul operation now consists of more aircraft and improved reliability. Looking into 2015, we will see a year of consolidation and lower growth. Next year, our fleet of short-haul aircraft will consist exclusively of Boeing 737-800s as older Boeing 737-300s will be phased out,” said CEO Bjørn Kjos.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian will retire its last Boeing 737-300 in 2015. Devoid of a tail photo, Boeing 737-31S LN-KHC (m,sn 29295) arrives in Stockholm (Arlanda).
The EU puts additional pressure on the DOT to approve the application of Norwegian Air International
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) currently operates its Boeing 787s to the United States under its Norwegian Long Haul division (Oslo). The company would like to move the operation to Ireland as Norwegian Air International where the aircraft are registered. The European Union (EU) through its European Commission has request an “urgent” meeting with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) about the pending application. Several union groups have opposed the application. The EC issued this statement:
In an unprecedented move, the European Commission requested an urgent meeting between the European Union and the United States to discuss Norwegian Air International’s pending application for a foreign air carrier permit before the U.S. Department of Transportation. The extraordinary meeting, which is being requested by the Commission on behalf of the European Union as a party to the U.S-EU Open Skies Agreement, sends a clear message that the European Union is closely watching Norwegian Air International’s application, to fly to the U.S from several cities in Europe which has been pending for over eight months.
Norwegian Air International welcomes the European Union’s action to protect the rights of European airlines under the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement, which obligates parties to grant operating authority “with minimum procedural delay.” Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International, said, “We are confident that the Department of Transportation will do the right thing and grant our application without further delay.”
Norwegian Air International’s application has taken nearly four times as long as applications of other European carriers applying for the same authority. “We look forward to bringing new competitive and affordable fares on new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the U.S.-Europe market,” said Nyseth. With over 300 U.S. based crew, and plans for a pilot base in New York, Norwegian’s new service will bolster the U.S. economy through increased tourism, jobs, and support of the nation’s largest exporter, Boeing.
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LND (msn 35310) with Norwegian Marthoner Grete Waitz on the tail holds shot of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport. The flight was headed to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Southwest’s pilots applaud the DOT decision concerning the application of Norwegian Air International
Southwest Airlines‘ (Dallas) pilots, represented by SWAPA, have issued this statement:
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) commends the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for denying Norwegian Air International (NAI) a temporary foreign air carrier operating authorization. NAI is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air which is located in Norway. NAI has sought to operate service to the U.S. as an Irish airline where it has no operating flights or history of operations.
“The denial of a temporary operating authorization is applauded by the pilots of Southwest Airlines,” said SWAPA Governmental Affairs Chair Captain Paul Jackson. “We agree with Secretary Foxx’s assertion that the application of Norwegian Air International is not in the public interest.”
This denial is only for the temporary application and is not a denial of the full application approval for a foreign carrier exemption with the DOT by NAI. The pilots of Southwest Airlines have opposed the application of NAI from early in the process due to the company’s “flag of convenience” strategy that locates the airline away from their home country of Norway. The NAI application for a foreign carrier operating authorization has been on file with the DOT since early this year. It is opposed by airline employees and management across the U.S. and the EU.
“We encourage Norwegian to join the marketplace under the labor laws and rules of their home country and not seek a scheme to avoid them,” Captain Jackson continued. “We strongly believe that our product and the work of our industry can stand up to any competitor if they play by the rules in place and do not seek to lower costs at any price.”
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N953WN (msn 36668) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) (Oslo) issued this statement (translated from Norwegian) concerning the delay by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in approving the controversial application of Norwegian Air International (NAI) based in Ireland:
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) decision to continue processing the application for the Norwegian EU-based subsidiary does not affect long-haul flights between Europe and the USA. Norwegian Air Shuttle has all rights to fly. The subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin) is still waiting for a permanent permit to fly.
The decision by the DOT means that it needs more time to process the application for a permanent permit to fly for NAI. The license will be the same as Norwegian already has in the parent company Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo). DOT has also not granted the application by NAI for a temporary permit to fly. Norwegian expects the American authorities, based on the Open Skies agreement between Europe and the USA , will approve the applications that have been considered too long. NAI is in every respect an EU company that got its Irish flight license in February 2014.
Norwegian flies today with Norwegian pilot’s license and has all air rights and is therefore not dependent on a temporary permit for the NAI subsidiary. NAI must have a permanent permit issued by American authorities to fly to the European-based flight certificate (AOC).
“It is unfortunate that American authorities are further delaying our application that have been considered for over six months. We look forward to answering any new questions that the ministry has so that we can get a permanent permit to fly without further delay”, says Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of NAI.
Both the European Commission and the Irish authorities support NAI’s rights to fly under the Open Skies Agreement. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has also approved the application and confirmed that the NAI meets all the required safety requirements.
“Norwegian DOT expects to see through all the false accusations and the massive campaigns that have been waged to stop us, both among competitors and unions. Norwegian does exactly what the Obama administration wants; create new jobs and contribute to increased tourism and growth in the tourism industry” continues Nyseth.
Great support from the United States
Norwegian has received considerable political support in the United States, including the three previous transport ministers from both the Democratic and Republican side, as well as local authorities and airports. In addition, tourist organizations, the US Travel Association and the Travel Technology Association have shown great support.
Norwegian started the long haul division in 2013 with new, fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The company now has three long-haul bases; in New York, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Bangkok. The fourth base is now established at London Gatwick. 300 American cabin crews are based in the United States.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 EI-LNF (msn 35313) lands at Stockholm (Arlanda).
Norwegian Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Norwegian Air International (subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian Long Haul) (Dublin) today (August 26) filed its reply to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) notice of August 4, 2014 requesting comments on the meeting between the U.S. Government and the European Commission. Norwegian Air International urges the Department to grant its application for an exemption and a foreign air carrier permit without further delay.
Norwegian Air International is joined by many supporters, who have also filed in support of its application, including the Irish Aviation Authority, U.S. Travel Association, American Society of Travel Agents, European Low Fares Airline Association, the Oakland, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airport authorities, Federal Express, and Atlas Air. The American public deserves more choice and lower fare options for flights between the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. economy will benefit from the increased tourism, and Norwegian’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners—the largest of any European airline—represents thousands of jobs at Boeing and Boeing’s suppliers throughout the U.S.
In the Notice, the Department summarized the views of the European Commission that a party to the Open Skies Agreement cannot unilaterally deny an airline’s application based on the so-called “social dimension” article of the agreement. “The Commission’s position echoes what we have been saying from the beginning, and we trust that the clear views of the Commission answer once and for all our opponent’s objections in this regard,” said Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International. “We look forward to the Department approving our application so that we can enjoy the same rights afforded to every other European airline serving the U.S. market – rights guaranteed to us under the Open Skies Agreement.”
As described in its prior filings, Norwegian Air International promises to offer the American public competitive fares, award-winning service that is responsive to market preferences and demand, and increased service to previously-underserved markets. Norwegian Air International’s support for the U.S. aviation industry is evidenced by its multibillion-dollar commitment to Boeing, its hiring of hundreds of U.S.-based cabin crew, and its support for hundreds of jobs at U.S. airports and the communities it will serve. It will provide new competition for Americans flying to Europe in a market that is dominated by three immunized airline alliances that currently control nearly 90 percent of the market.
The public interest in promoting service authorized by the Open Skies Agreement strongly supports the grant of Norwegian Air International’s application. The grant of the application will enable the Department to protect the important opportunities made available to U.S. carriers by the European parties to the Open Skies Agreement. It will afford an airline of Ireland, one of America’s closest partners in Europe, access to route authority it fully deserves under the Open Skies Agreement.
Open Skies has succeeded beyond all expectations, and it has done so because America made a principled decision to focus on fostering competition and new opportunities, not on protecting the existing market shares of a small number of incumbent carriers that already dominate the market. Three former Secretaries of Transportation — Andrew Card, Norman Mineta, and Mary Peters — have confirmed that these guiding principles of breaking down barriers and increasing competition are the core values the U.S. has sought to promote in open skies agreements. “If the Department wishes to stay the successful course of Open Skies, and promote a pro-growth, pro-competition, pro-consumer policy, the Department should grant Norwegian Air International’s application without further delay,” Norwegian International stated in today’s filing.
Over six months after Norwegian Air International completed its application, and with a regulatory docket filled with hundreds of pages of pleadings, the Department must now make a decision. It is time to let Norwegian Air International fly, and give consumers the choice they deserve.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LNE (msn 34796) with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on the tail holds short of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW).
SWAPA applauds the Dreamjet decision by the DOT but still opposes the Norwegian Air International application
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) (Dallas), the union representing the pilots of Southwest Airlines, issued this statement:
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) commends the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for granting an exemption to Dreamjet, a startup airline, based in France within the European Union (EU).
“The rapid approval of Dreamjet’s application is applauded by the pilots of Southwest Airlines,” said Captain Paul Jackson, SWAPA Governmental Affairs Chairman. “We agree with the DOT that Dreamjet is fit to serve the EU-US market under the terms of the Open Skies agreement.”
This approval for Dreamjet is in contrast to the application for a foreign carrier exemption on file with the DOT by Norwegian Air International (NAI). The pilots of Southwest Airlines have opposed the application of NAI from early in the process based on their flag of convenience strategy and usurping of labor laws with the offshoring of crews.
“We continue to oppose NAI and at the same time applaud the DOT for recognizing EU carriers that comply with the rules and grant them entry to a fair and equitable market,” Jackson continued.
Dreamjet is set to launch five weekly flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Newark Liberty Airport on July 11 with a Boeing 757-200 configured with 74 business class seats.
Note: Dreamjet has now been renamed La Compagnie.
Norwegian launches Boeing 787 flights from London Gatwick to Los Angeles, New York and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) this week has expanded its Boeing 787 operations, this time from London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW). On July 2 the fast-growing airline launched Gatwick-Los Angeles service. Yesterday (July 3) Norwegian started Gatwick-New York (JFK) flights and today it will commence Gatwick-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood service.
According to Norwegian, “almost all of the 291 seats on Norwegian’s 787 Dreamliner are fully booked on the launch trips to Los Angeles, New York and Fort Lauderdale.”
The airline continued (translated from Norwegian), “The launch of long-haul routes from London Gatwick is an important part of Norwegian’s global growth strategy and in a few years, it is Spain’s turn. We are excited that Norwegian’s routes between London and the United States are now running. We think that everyone should be able to afford to fly, even between Europe and the USA. The trans-Atlantic market has for too long been dominated by a few large airlines with expensive tickets and limited flexibility”, says CEO Bjorn Kjos.
In 2013, Norwegian launched the only low cost long-haul routes between the United States and Scandinavia, and between Asia and Scandinavia.
This past year, according to Norwegian, 100,000 Americans have flown with Norwegian and 200 000 passengers have traveled from Europe to the United States with the company.
According to Norwegian, “Currently Norwegian employs 300 American cabin crew at the base in Fort Lauderdale and in New York and 200 at the base in Bangkok. Norwegian had over 6,000 applications for the 300 posts in the United States. 150 pilots fly its 787 Dreamliner and 40 more pilots will be employed, including the base in New York.
Norwegian currently has seven 787 Dreamliners in service. By 2018 the company will have a long-haul fleet of 17 Dreamliners.
Norwegian’s current long-haul Boeing 787 routes:
From New York (JFK): Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL), Copenhagen (CPH), Bergen (BGO and London (LGW)
From Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL): Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL), Copenhagen (CPH) and London (LGW)
From Los Angeles (LAX): Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL), Copenhagen (CPH) and London (LGW)
From Oakland, CA (OAK): Stockholm (ARN) and Oslo (OSL)
From Orlando (MCO): Oslo (OSL)
From Bangkok (BKK): Oslo (OSL) to Stockholm (ARN)
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNE (msn 34796) with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on the tail arrives in New York at JFK International Airport (JFK).
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) via its Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin) issued this statement:
Norwegian Air International (NAI) released the following statement on House passage of Fiscal Year 2015 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act:
“We are disappointed the House legislation includes language attempting to pressure the U.S. Department of Transportation into denying Norwegian Air International’s application. As with anything new and innovative, Norwegian expected opposition from entrenched interests, and we will continue undeterred in the pursuit of our goal of serving the United States.
Norwegian International seeks to offer lower fares to travelers, world-class service on new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and job creation opportunities through our investment in Boeing aircraft and increased international tourism to U.S. destinations. Norwegian appreciates the support it has received from allies, including three former DOT Secretaries and the hundreds of flight attendants we have hired in the U.S. this year, who share our commitment to growth and competition.
As a licensed carrier of the European Union, Norwegian meets all the legal, safety and operational requirements to serve the United States – and we fully intend to do so in the near future. The time has passed for the Department of Transportation to approve Norwegian’s application.”
Meanwhile the Association of Flight Attendants previously issued this statement:
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today commended the United States House of Representatives for passing the DeFazio/Westmoreland Amendment that ensures U.S. airlines and aviation crewmembers are afforded a level playing field for transatlantic flying. The bipartisan amendment attached to the 2015 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 4745), introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Lynn Westmorland (R-GA), requires that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) follow the protocol contained in the U.S.-EU “Open Skies” agreement.
Currently, the DOT is reviewing an application for a foreign air carrier permit submitted by Norwegian Air International (NAI) that threatens to undercut labor standards both in the U.S. and in Europe by circumventing worker protections, evading international labor laws, and creating unfair competition for airlines covered under the Open Skies agreement.
“Our union is focused on stopping any scheme like Norwegian Air International from severely undercutting our airlines, threatening our jobs, and setting a harmful precedent that would undermine U.S. labor and safety rules. Together with aviation workers from across the industry, we will continue to push back against attempts to dodge laws and regulations that protect good jobs and the safest aviation system in the world,” said Sara Nelson, AFA International President.
“We commend Representatives DeFazio and Westmoreland for their leadership in upholding labor standards and fair competition. This House vote sends a strong signal to the Department of Transportation that NAI’s application is not supported by Congress,” added Nelson.
Copyright Photo: All of the Norwegian Boeing 787s currently operated to the United States are registered in Ireland (EI-) but are currently operated by Norwegian Long Haul. Norwegian Long Haul has a separate AOC and is registered in Norway. Norwegian Air International obtained its AOC from Ireland in February 2014 and hopes to operate from the European Union to the United States. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNB (msn 35305) with explorer Thor Heyerdahl on the tail taxies from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) is arguing before the DOT and public opinion, citing an editorial by USA Today, to allow its Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin) to operate its Boeing 787 Dreamliners on low-fare flights to the United States. Several unions of other airlines are arguing against this approval process. Norwegian issued this statement:
Citing the airline’s “discount ticket prices” that give “passengers a reason to celebrate,” the USA Today has endorsed Norwegian Air International (NAI)’s application to begin flying from the United States. The USA Today argued that U.S. Department of Transportation – which has delayed approval of NAI’s application for months – could provide a major boon to consumers by approving NAI’s application and introducing competition into the transatlantic flight market. The full editorial is available here:
Read the editorial from USA Today: CLICK HERE
The editorial noted that NAI is able to offer fares far below those of U.S. legacy carriers because NAI is more efficient than its competitors. The airline is using 787 Dreamliners, which “provide big savings on fuel costs.” Further, NAI “steers clear of high-cost, congested airports.”
The editorial further criticized opposition to NAI for running ads that “try to cast NAI as a lawbreaker while implying that safety is being compromised.” The editorial clearly states, however, that NAI’s opposition “lacks any proof” that NAI will not follow the highest safety standards and all U.S. laws.
The USA Today made clear that it believes that “unless the critics can prove that [NAI] is doing something unsafe or illegal, the U.S. government should let NAI fly.”
Meanwhile, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA continues to oppose NAI and issued this statement:
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), was joined by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) as well as the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in calling on the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to deny an application for a foreign air carrier permit submitted by Norwegian Air International (NAI).
AFA, ETF and ITF once again spotlight the unfair labor practices established by NAI in their mission to enter the U.S. aviation market. NAI’s business plan is crafted to circumvent worker protections by evading international labor laws, creating unfair competition with EU and U.S. carriers and threatening to degrade labor standards both in the U.S. and in Europe.
Veda Shook, AFA International President stated: “AFA remains committed to a healthy and robust global aviation marketplace that provides career opportunities and good jobs for workers across the world. Competition and growth are essential to our industry but we must remain dedicated to promoting strong labor standards. Skirting international laws in order to gain unfair advantage cannot be tolerated. We call on Secretary Foxx to deny NAI’s current application before such labor practices become the norm in international aviation, triggering a race to the bottom.”
François Ballestero, the ETF Civil Aviation Political Secretary commented: “The attempt of Norwegian Air to import cheap labor from Asia by employing non-European cabin crew on its long-haul routes are an attack on working conditions of the existing workers. The ETF is committed to fight against social dumping and we urge the DOT to put an end to these unfair practices. And we are not alone in our concerns: the Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications recently raised his concern to the European Commission about the challenges facing European aviation that are created by fragmented operations between multiple countries.”
Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez, ITF Civil Aviation Secretary added: “The practice of establishing subsidiaries and registering vessels under flags of convenience in order to avoid oversight and slash costs has long been a feature of the maritime industry. The results are well known: lower safety standards, sometimes shocking working conditions, little protection for workers. The ITF is well known for fighting these abuses. For decades we have been warning that the flags of convenience model could be copied in the aviation sector. Just last month, our cabin crew committee decisively rejected the outsourcing and flagging out practices of NAI. The AFA together with the IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers), TWU (Transport Workers’ Union) and APFA (Association of Professional Flight Attendants), supported that resolve and are actively lobbying the U.S. government and urging it to prevent those unacceptable practices being imported into the US. The ITF will continue to support their effort.”
The ETF represents more than 250,000 civil aviation workers all over Europe, including 80,000 cabin crews.
The ITF represent more than 650,000 civil aviation workers all over the world, including nearly 100,000 Flight Attendants in the United States.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNB (msn 35305) is pictured at Paine Field in Everett.
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has just finished up adding the tail image to its newly-delivered fifth Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The pictured EI-LNE (msn 34796) was handed over to Norwegian on April 30. Today in Dublin the 787 departed with the new likeness of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on the tail.
According to Wikipedia, Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (1872 – 1928) was a Norwegian explorer of the polar regions. Amundsen led the Antarctic expedition (1910–1912) to become part of the first group of explorers to reach the South Pole in December 1911. In 1926, he was the first expedition leader to be recognized without dispute as having reached the North Pole.
Amundsen is also known as the first to traverse the Northwest Passage (1903–06). He disappeared in June 1928 while taking part in a rescue mission.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com.
Norwegian Long Haul‘s (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) today launched the first nonstop flight between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Los Angeles in California with twice weekly service. As of April 30, Norwegian will operate three flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is the first time that Sweden has a nonstop flight to Los Angeles.
Twice-weekly nonstop Stockholm – Oakland flights will begin on May 3, 2014 and will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Currently Norwegian’s other long-haul routes from Stockholm Arlanda operate to New York (JFK), Fort Lauderdale/Fort Lauderdale and Bangkok.
Norwegian is currently attempting to transfer the Norwegian Long Haul operations to Norwegian Air International (Dublin). All of the 787s are registered in Ireland.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) lands at Malaga with Olympic skater Sonja Henie on the tail.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian Air International) (Norwegian.com) has issued this statement concerning the issuance of an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the state of Ireland for subsidiary Norwegian Air International Limited (Dublin) on February 12. Norwegian’s long haul Boeing 787s operations will be transferred to this new subsidiary.
Norwegian issued this statement (translated from Norwegian):
Irish authorities have awarded Norwegian Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and license to Norwegian’s wholly owned subsidiaries Norwegian Air International Limited, which has its administration in Dublin.
The operation of the Norwegian’s long-haul routes will, with the new permit will be transferred to Norwegian Air International Limited (NAI). The airline has established management and essential government functions in Dublin and is ready to operate under the Irish Aviation Authority.
There are several reasons why the Norwegian has established long-distance company in Dublin. The main reason is the availability of future traffic rights to and from the EU. Norwegian has an order for over 260 new aircraft and plans to launch several new routes to and from Europe. Norwegian Air International’s establishment in Ireland does not affect the export guarantees attached to the company’s financing. Besides that Ireland has an aviation authority of good repute, the country is also a sort of hub for the airline industry – including all major leasing companies such as Norwegian partners with offices in Dublin.
The choice of Ireland, not because the country has specific rules that allow American or Asian crews, with both politicians and unions have claimed. In fact, Norwegian could have based its long-distance company in any other European country and yet used American and Asian crews, as several other European airlines have done for years. The only exceptions are Norway and to some extent Denmark who have chosen to retain outdated rules regarding this.
Transfer of new AOC
The transfer of the first Dreamliner plane to the new EU AOC: one implemented on February 12 and was done in conjunction with scheduled maintenance. The remaining aircraft will be transferred. U.S. transport authorities will now consider its application for traffic rights asserted
Norwegian’s long-haul flights to and from the United States. This is regulated under the Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and the EU, which means that an operator from any party that meets the conditions, shall be entitled to operate under this agreement. It granted the operating license and the license in Ireland means that Norwegian meets all the necessary requirements.
Competitors and unions have made a number of false accusations against both Norwegian and Ireland. This is despite the EU’s transport authorities, Irish and Norwegian regulators have repeatedly disproved it. Norwegian expects the approval of the application of the United States in compliance with the Open Skies Agreement as Norwegian has the same rights as before when the aircraft were moved from Norway to the EU.
In other news, Norwegian has contracted for four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for delivery in 2017 and 2018. With the new agreement, Norwegian’s 787 fleet will increase to 14 aircraft.
The four aircraft will be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). The new aircraft will be in service in 2017 and 2018.
Norwegian has three Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners in the current fleet and five more on order. Further, the company has already signed an agreement for two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with deliveries in the first quarter of 2016. In total, Norwegian will have a fleet of 14 long-haul 787 aircraft, with four to be delivered in 2014, one in 2015, two in 2016, two in 2017 and two in 2018.
This larger Dreamliner model accommodates more passengers and is more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than the 787-8 model. Boeing has already made a series of test flights and the aircraft type will be in commercial operation later in 2014. The agreement has been signed with the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
Finally, Norwegian announced an annual profit before tax of 437 million Norwegian kroner (NOK) ($71.6 million). For the fourth quarter, Norwegian reported a profit of 283 million kroner.
2013 is the seventh year in a row that Norwegian has reported a profit.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s (now Norwegian Air International) Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (man 35304) arrives in London (Heathrow).