Irish Aviation Authority rejects US pilots’ criticism of airline

US unions claim Norwegian Air International is using Irish registration to lower safety

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) says claims by US pilots' unions that a Dublin-based airline's work practices could compromise safety are "false and highly misleading".

US unions such as the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (Swapa) claim Norwegian Air International is using its Irish registration as a flag of convenience to hire cheap labour, undermining both employment standards and safety.

However in a submission to Washington’s department of transportation, supporting Norwegian’s application for a permit to fly to the US, the IAA dismisses such claims as false and highly misleading.

No corroboration

The authority said that, with no corroboration and a flagrant disregard for the facts, the Swapa attacked Norwegian’s safety and Irish regulatory oversight. It also ignored a determination by the


Federal Aviation Administration

that Irish safety satisfies both US and international standards.

The airline is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, which established it in the Republic to benefit from EU-US air transport treaties, as the company plans to offer low- cost transatlantic flights, beginning with services to Boston from Cork and Shannon.

However, opposition from unions and politicians delayed its application for a US foreign carrier’s permit by two years.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas