Norwegian Air gives final response in US application

Airline hopes to launch transatlantic flights from Cork and Shannon

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s group chief executive, Bjorn Kjos.

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s group chief executive, Bjorn Kjos.

 

Norwegian Air International has made its final submissions on a licence application to the US authorities that will allow it offer transatlantic flights from Cork and Shannon.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) recently gave the airline initial approval for a foreign carrier’s permit, allowing it to fly to the US from Europe, but said granting the licence depended on final submissions from all interested parties.

The process closed on Monday after the airline formally responded to the DOT which has begun considering all submissions ahead of making its final decision in coming weeks.

A spokesman for the airline said that it hoped that the department “expeditiously finalise the decision and allow Norwegian Air International to begin operations”.

The carrier is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle that is registered in the Republic to take advantage of EU-US air transoport treaties.

However, aviation unions are campaigning against its application for a US permit claiming that it is using the Republic as a flag of convenience to use cheap labour.

Both Norwegian and the Irish authorities have described this claim as malicious and false. The airline has told regulators in both jurisdictions that it intends to hire only EU and US citizens to crew its transatlantic services.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Air Shuttle’s group chief executive, Bjorn Kjos, said on Wednesday that its subsidiary may launch US flights from Edinburgh in Scotland next year. He named Boston, New York and San Francisco as possible destinations.

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