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Unions react as Norwegian UK applies for US flight permits

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2016
by bimjim ... ht-permits

Unions react as Norwegian UK applies for US flight permits
Kurt Hofmann
Jan 8, 2016

Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian UK has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for exemption authority and a foreign air carrier permit (FACP) to allow services between Europe and the US, several media outlets have reported.

Some US and European airline labor groups—including the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Allied Pilots Association (APA) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA)—have lobbied DOT requesting additional information from Norwegian UK about its employment practices and business model. The unions said the subsidiary could be yet another attempt by Norwegian to use a flag of convenience, which undercuts labor standards, an allegation made against Norwegian’s Ireland-based subsidiary.

ATW reported last November that its London operations are separate from its long-haul subsidiary Norwegian Air International, which has an Irish air operator’s certificate (AOC), but its attempts to gain permission to fly into the US have stalled in DOT following strong opposition from US airlines and pilots’ unions.

LCC Norwegian Air Shuttle has established a Norwegian UK subsidiary in England. In November 2015, the carrier received an AOC from British regulatory authorities, enabling it to grow its UK operations.

Norwegian UK plans to begin long-haul service in the first quarter 2016.

“Following the UK AOC granted to Norwegian, a UK application has been made to the US Department of Transportation for a foreign carrier permit. This is an important step in our plans for continued growth, more routes and new jobs in the UK,” a Norwegian UK spokesperson in London confirmed to ATW.

“All current and future employees in our operation at UK bases will have contracts governed by UK employment law,” according to the spokesperson. Norwegian already has major operations and a large route network from UK airports, together with a base of more than 400 pilots and crew at London Gatwick. “So we look forward to the DOT’s consideration of the UK application. We currently have 10 aircraft based at London Gatwick,” he said.

Norwegian carried 25.7 million passengers in 2015, two million more than the previous year. The company took delivery of 11 new aircraft and launched several new routes, particularly long-haul services. It also launched domestic services in Spain and connected the US East Coast with the French Caribbean. The 2015 load factor was 86%, up from 81% in 2014.

Re: Unions react as Norwegian UK applies for US flight permi

Posted: Sat Jan 09, 2016
by bimjim
Q. How many holes are there in the EU-USA (DoT) Reciprocal Route Rights Agreement?

A. Enough for several airlines to fly through.