US halts Norwegian’s wider plans to enter market
Low-cost carrier Norwegian has lost a key legal decision in the United States, slowing its plans to operate there. Unions welcomed the move. They say the airline pays low wages and fails to meet US employment standards.
The US Department of Transportation rejected a request made by Norwegian ten months ago for an exemption that would have substantially eased its entry into the US market. It argued that “the novel and complex nature of this case [does not make an exemption] appropriate or in the public interest,” the news agency Reuters reported.
There will now be an exhaustive review to see if Norwegian can fly to the United States at all.
Norwegian responded that its flights from Europe to the US were not affected by the decision. The airline’s efforts to obtain a US foreign carrier permit for a subsidiary it set up in Ireland are supported by both the Irish government and the European Commission, it said.
Yet opponents to Norwegian’s operations in the US include airlines such as Delta, American and United, as well as the Association of Flight Attendants, the Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
[photo courtesy Norwegian]