Release #14.03
January 8, 2014

New Reason DOT Must Deny Norwegian Air’s Scheme
Foreign Company Seeks to Evade its National Laws to Unfairly Compete Against U.S. Airlines

WASHINGTON–In the latest indication that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) must immediately deny Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) foreign air carrier permit application, a recent filing by the company at DOT appears to confirm that it is attempting to evade its national laws and regulations to gain an unfair economic advantage over U.S. airlines.

“Norwegian Air International seeks to compete unfairly with U.S. airlines for international passengers by sidestepping its national laws and regulations and creating a race to the bottom on labor and working conditions,” said Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA). “Permitting NAI to engage in this kind of labor law shopping is not in the public interest and it runs contrary to our air service agreement with the EU. It must not be allowed to stand.”

Although it is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, NAI proposes to operate as an Irish airline, expressly for the purpose of avoiding the application of Norway’s employment laws to its air crew. It appears that NAI plans for its flight crew to work under individual employment contracts that are governed by Singapore law and that contain wages and working conditions substantially inferior to those of NAS’s Norway-based pilots.

On Tuesday ALPA submitted a reply to NAI’s filing. ALPA asserted that NAI’s proposed operation is contrary to U.S. aviation statutes and to the intent of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement.

“The U.S.-EU air services agreement was not intended to allow companies to cheat the system to gain an unfair economic edge,” said Capt. Moak. “The U.S. government must unequivocally reject the NAI application and the Irish government should not allow itself to be complicit in NAI’s scheme.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 50,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at


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