Release #: 16.23
June 30, 2016

ALPA Pilots Welcome DOT Rejection of NAUK

DOT Action Safeguards Fair Competition for U.S. Airlines

WASHINGTON––The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) praised today’s U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) decision to deny Norwegian Air UK’s (NAUK) foreign air carrier permit exemption application as a significant milestone in the drive to ensure fair competition for U.S. airlines in the global marketplace.

“The Department of Transportation took a stand for fair competition today with its denial of Norwegian Air UK’s request for an exemption to serve the United States,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA’s president. “U.S. airline pilots commend the DOT for seeking to ensure that foreign airlines do not gain an unfair economic advantage in competing against U.S. airlines.”

In its order, the DOT found that NAUK’s request raises “novel and complex” issues and that granting an exemption would not be in the public interest. ALPA has opposed NAUK’s exemption application, which would have allowed it to fly to the United States while the DOT considered its foreign air carrier permit application. NAUK is a UK airline, and its employment structure for its pilots and flight attendants is unclear, as are as its potential effects on U.S. jobs and the international airline industry.

“U.S. airlines and their workers are the best in the world, but they will struggle to compete if the U.S. government does not stop foreign airlines that attempt to use unfair business practices to gain a marketplace advantage,” said Capt. Canoll.

“The United States must continue to enforce its international aviation policy to make certain that foreign air carrier business plans will not threaten fair competition for U.S. airlines in the future,” said Capt. Canoll.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 53,000 pilots at 31 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


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