EU Moves to Gain Final Approval for Norwegian
Frustrated by a lack of progress in the approval process, the European Commission started arbitration proceedings seeking the approval of Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign-carrier permit.
Arbitration is a mechanism intended to resolve disputes in the EU-U.S. open skies treaty.
The Irish subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle first filed its application to operate transatlantic routes in December 2013.
“It’s unclear if and when the Department of Transportation will take the final decision,” said Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, a commission spokesman, on Thursday. “Therefore, after consulting the EU member states, we decided to seek a resolution by legal means.”
In mid April, the U.S. Department of Transportation gave tentative approval to plans for Norwegian Air International to operate flights to the United States from Ireland and other parts of the European Union. After consulting with the Justice and State departments, agency officials said they found no basis to reject Norwegian.
The move sparked a protest in May by hundreds of employees of U.S.-based airlines chanting “Deny NAI” in front of the White House and a bipartisan group of congressmen introduced legislation last week to block final approval, also in May.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)