DOT Decision to Allow Norwegian Air Flights Sparks White House Protest

By Jesse Sokolow on 13 May 2016
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DSC_0311Norwegian Air International, a European low-cost carrier that recently won approval for flights to the U.S., has clearly struck a nerve.

On Thursday, hundreds of employees of U.S.-based airlines chanting “Deny NAI” held a protest in front of the White House. The pilots, flight attendants, and mechanics contend that the airline, a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, based the company in Ireland to evade Norwegian labor laws.

“Southwest pilots are proud to stand with our peers and oppose this dangerous decision,” said Captain Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association.

The airline denies the charges and points out that it has hired over 400 U.S.-based crewmembers over the past two years. In the past, airline executives have said that its entry into more U.S. markets would increase competition over the Atlantic without sacrificing safety. Norwegian only operates new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on its long-haul flights.

Last month, a bipartisan group of congressmen introduced legislation to block the U.S. Department of Transportation’s approval of Norwegian Air’s expansion in the United States.

The agency gave the green light to plans for Norwegian Air International, the Irish-flag subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, to operate flights to the United States from Ireland and other parts of the European Union in mid April. After consulting with the Justice and State departments, transportation officials said they found no basis to reject Norwegian.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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