Norwegian UK refused temporary permission to fly US routes

While the US Department of Trade (DOT) is already reviewing an application from Dublin-based Norwegian Air International (NAI), a subsidiary Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) to fly to the US, the DOT has rejected a request from Norwegian UK, a separate subsidiary of NAS, for exemption to fly to the US while the DOT reviews its application for a permanent foreign air carrier permit.
While the two applications from NAS subsidiaries are being treated independently, the DOT has accepted that there are “overlapping types of issues”. Though the DOT had granted a tentative approval of the NAI application, a whole raft of objections from both European and North American airlines as well as labor unions including the European Cockpit Association and the Air Line Pilots Association has been apparent.
According to a Norwegian spokesperson, “Norwegian UK is a recognised British airline, with a large UK base and the support of the UK Government. Given Norwegian UK’s clear and legitimate right to a Foreign Carrier Permit, we therefore remain confident we will receive final approval.”
The UK government has backed Norwegian UK and has stated that “[NUK]’s application complies with all DOT requirements […] we urge the DOT to fully discharge the U.S.’s international obligations and to grant NUK authorization to operate forthwith”, while the US State Department has acknowledged that granting Norwegian UK’s application is in the foreign policy interest of the United States.
On the obverse side of the coin, the DOT does not view granting Norwegian UK temporary permission to fly to the US “appropriate or in the public interest,” citing “novel and complex” issues raised by Norwegian UK’s foreign air carrier permit application.
Norwegian UK believes that it “should be entitled to a foreign carrier permit under the terms of the Open Skies agreement … Norwegian’s US flights currently operate under the Norwegian Air Shuttle air operator certificate, which allows the airline to operate between the US and Europe. With US approval for Norwegian UK, the airline will be able to more effectively utilize its long-haul fleet and establish a seamless operation, including the use of the same aircraft on both US and other long-haul routes to destinations such as Asia, South Africa and South America, which currently all other European airlines can.”
According to Tim Canoll, Alpa president, the DOT “took a stand for fair competition” in rejecting Norwegian UK’s application, adding that “US airline pilots commend the DOT for seeking to ensure that foreign airlines do not gain an unfair economic advantage in competing against US airlines.”

Email Post to a Friend Email Post to a Friend

Leave a Reply