Norwegian responds to the U.S. House legislation

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: AG Slide Show

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