EU to try to settle dispute between Norwegian and US

Long delay in granting flying rights to Irish subsidiary
The European Commission will try to settle the ongoing dispute between Norwegian and United States regulators by launching an arbitration procedure, media reports are saying.
The dispute is over the low-cost carrier’s plan to fly to the US from Ireland. The EU’s unprecedented step is to investigate the delay in granting flying rights to Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, which it says is a breach of the EU-US Open Skies agreement.
The subsidiary, Norwegian Air International, applied for permission more than two years ago but it has become a high-profile politicised issue among unions, some US airlines and even US senators. They argue the budget carrier would undermine working standards.
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc sent a letter to US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on Tuesday saying the commission had consulted with EU member states and would invoke arbitration.
Norwegian welcomed the news: “We are very pleased that the EU Commission is seeking arbitration with US authorities to solve this long overdue issue. Norwegian Air International is an approved and fully operational EU carrier that meets all requirements under the Open Skies Agreement between the EU and the US. A final approval will lead to more new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, more new transatlantic routes and more affordable fares.”


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