Norwegian Air Subsidiary Receives Tentative Approval for U.S. Flights including Cork-Boston
The U.S. Department of Transportation said Friday it plans to green light plans for Norwegian Air International, the Irish-flag subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, to offer flights to the United States from Ireland and other parts of the European Union.
Norwegian’s application has been hotly contested by U.S. airlines and labor unions that claim the airline would be able to offer cheaper flights by undercutting U.S. wages, something the airline has dismissed.
The department’s order allows for a three-week period of comment and said that there is no legal basis for it to deny the application under the current Open Skies agreement between the United States and the European Union. The airline has been awaiting approval for the route for over two years.
Until the decision takes effect, Norwegian’s U.S. flights have been limited to the air rights that Norway has negotiated. That limitation will disappear once the Irish subsidiary commences operations since, as an airline based in the European Union, it would have access to aviation rights covered by Open Skies.
This will “be a win-win for consumers and the economy on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Bjørn Kjos, the airline’s CEO, adding it will create thousands of jobs and “generate tens of millions of dollars of economic activity for the Group’s U.S. destinations.”
Once the decision is made final, Norwegian Air International will be able to begin flights to the United States. It has already announced plans to operate the first-ever service linking Boston, Massachusetts, and Cork, Ireland.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)