Tag Archives: Norwegian Long Haul

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.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Norwegian Long haul to launch two new Boeing 787 routes to Orlando

Norwegian Long haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) continues to develop long-range operations and launching new routes from Copenhagen to Orlando, and between London Gatwick and Orlando. In addition, the company is also increasing frequencies on several existing destinations between Europe and the USA.

The new nonstop route to Orlando, Florida will be the fifth long distance flight from Copenhagen and the fourth from London Gatwick. Norwegian flies previously between Oslo and Orlando.

As previously reported, Norwegian started operations to Orlando International Airport (MCO) on May 29, 2014.

Norwegian will fly once a week (Mondays) from Copenhagen to Orlando, starting on March 30, 2015.

Norwegian will fly once a week (Saturdays) between London Gatwick and Orlando starting on April 4, 2015.

Norwegian is also increasing the number of flights between the following destinations: Stockholm – Oakland, increased from two to three flights a week, Oslo – Los Angeles extended from one to two times a week, London Gatwick – New York (JFK) expanded from three to six flights a week and London Gatwick – Los Angeles expanded from two to four times a week.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LND (msn 35310) with Norwegian marathon runner Grete Waitz departs from Stockholm (Arlanda).

Video: Flying on the Norwegian 787 from Stockholm to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood:

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

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The DOT tells Norwegian it needs more time to reach a decision on Norwegian Air International

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 calls on the DOT to grant its application

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).

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Norwegian to launch nonstop Boeing 787 Copenhagen-Bangkok service on October 30

Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) on October 30 will launch a new Boeing 787 route between Copenhagen and Hong Kong. The new route will operate twice a week. Norwegian already offers nonstop routes between Bangkok and both Oslo and Stockholm.

Norwegian will have a fleet of 17 Dreamliners, with seven currently in service and one more will be delivered in 2014.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNC (msn 34795) prepares to land in Stockholm (Arlanda).

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

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: AG Slide Show

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

Norwegian brings the first Boeing 787 to Orlando

Norwegian 787 arrives in MCO (OIA)(LRW)

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) landed the first scheduled Boeing 787 Dreamliner service at Orlando International Airport (MCO) on Thursday night (May 29). The maiden flight from Oslo, Norway to Orlando was the first Boeing 787 to land at MCO. The full flight was greeted with a traditional water salute by the airport rescue fire fighters (ARFF).

Norwegian Air will offer nonstop service between Orlando and Oslo two-days-a-week, Thursdays and Saturdays, with connections to over 94 locations in Europe and Thailand.

Copyright Photo: Orlando International Airport.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Norwegian pleads to allow its Norwegian Air International subsidiary to operate to the USA

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: AG Slide Show

Norwegian signs a contract for three additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, loses $137.6 million in the first quarter

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has entered into an agreement for the delivery of three new long-haul Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Two of the aircraft will be delivered in 2016 and one in 2017.

Norwegian continues to expand its international operations and has agreed to also lease two 787-9 Dreamliners. Norwegian will put two of the planes in service in 2016 and one in 2017. Today, Norwegian has five long-haul type Dreamliner 787-8 in its fleet and another three on order. In addition, Norwegian has already placed an order for six 787-9s. With this new contract, Norwegian in 2018 will have a long-haul fleet of 17 long-haul 787s.

Facts about Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner:

Holds up to 20 percent more passengers than 787-8
Six meters (20 feet) longer than the 787-8
Significantly greater cargo capacity than the 787-8
Eight percent less fuel per seat than today’s version, which also gives the corresponding reduction in environmental emissions

In other news, Norwegian announced a quarterly loss before taxes of -813 million NOK ($137.6 million). Quarterly earnings were affected by additional costs for hiring of crews and a weak Norwegian crown.

During the first quarter, the revenue increased to 3.55 billion Norwegian kroner, an increase of 22 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

9 million passengers flew with Norwegian representing growth of 24 percent. The traffic growth (RPK) was at 50 percent, which is also linked to each Norwegian passengers now fly much longer than they did a year ago.

The figures also show strong output growth with an increase of 48 percent (ASK). The load factor was 77 percent in the first quarter, up one percentage point compared to the same quarter the year before. Adjusted with extra costs and a weak currency decreased costs (CASK) by nine percent in the first quarter.

Extra costs associated with long-haul operations accounted for 78 million NOK. These costs included the leasing of aircraft, additional fuel and the cost of hotels, food and drink to passengers affected by technical and operational problems with long-distance business.

During the first quarter, Norwegian phased in five new Boeing 737-800s and a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.  With the Dreamliner (EI-LNE) that was delivered last week, Norwegian now has a total of five long-haul aircraft in service and 12 on order.

Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, the pictured 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) displays the likeness of Sonja Henie on the tail.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show