Norwegian airline to boost Irish job numbers

Dublin Aerospace wins contract worth “more than $50 million”

Norwegian Air Shuttle has chosen Dublin as the headquarters for its long-haul business

Norwegian Air Shuttle has chosen Dublin as the headquarters for its long-haul business

 


Norwegian Air Shuttle plans to increase employment at its Irish office, which will play a significant role in the airline’s overall operations, its chief executive, Bjorn Kjos, said yesterday.

The Irish Aviation Authority and the Commission for Aviation Regulation recently licensed the Scandinavian low-cost carrier to operate an airline from the Republic.

The firm has chosen Dublin as the headquarters for its long-haul business in a move that sparked a row with Norway’s unions. They claim the airline is sidestepping labour-protection laws, but the company says it is here to take advantage of the EU Open Skies agreement and to access finance.

Mr Kjos said yesterday that it now employs 40 people at its offices close to Dublin Airport. “But we will definitely hire a lot more people than we have today,” he said.


Doubling of fleet
The firm intends that a number of its assets, including many of its aircraft, will be held in the Republic. It plans to double its fleet of 45 and is likely to finance much of that expansion through Irish-based aircraft lessors.

Mr Kjos, speaking after taking part in the Capa Centre for Aviation chief executives’ conference in Wicklow yesterday, said the Dublin office will also have roles in marketing, branding and supporting its digital operations.

At the same conference, Dublin Aerospace executive chairman Conor McCarthy revealed the aircraft maintenance outfit recently saw off competition from Chinese and far-eastern rivals to win an Airasia contract worth “more than $50 million”.

The business will maintain 150 auxiliary power units for the airline. Late last year, Philippines-based Cebu Pacific awarded it a contract for landing gear maintenance.

Mr McCarthy is a director and shareholder of Airasia, which is majority-owned by Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes, who also owns English Premiership club Queens Park Rangers and Caterham Formula One.


No comment
Meanwhile, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar refused to comment on the €1.5 million paid to Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller in 2013. However, he said where State companies are seeking cuts, “it has generally been the case that the chief executive and board members show leadership by cutting their benefits”.

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