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.