EU Wades Into Norwegian Fight

The European Commission has requested a meeting between the EU and the US to discuss Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign air carrier permit from the US Department of Transportation (DOT), the airline has revealed. Norwegian has applied for permission using an Irish-registered subsidiary, which critics have argued is operating under a flag of convenience. They have also accused the carrier of trying to circumvent US labour laws and pay its pilots and crew low wages. The DOT has yet to decide on Norwegian’s application, which has been pending for eight months, close to four times as long as applications of other European carriers applying for the same authority. Under the US-EU Open Skies agreement the authorities are obliged to grant operating permits “with minimum procedural delay”. Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International, said: “We are confident that the DOT will do the right thing and grant our application without further delay.”

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