Release #: 17.35
July 14, 2017

DOT’s Norwegian UK Decision Could Undermine U.S. Aviation Workers

WASHINGTON––The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) is disappointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) tentative decision to allow Norwegian Air UK (NAUK) to fly to and from the United States under the U.S.–EU Air Transport Agreement without requiring information about how the airline’s crews will be employed or how its business model will affect U.S. jobs.

“While the administration has made tough statements in support of safeguarding U.S. workers from unfair foreign competition, this decision demonstrates the need for legislation that requires the DOT to conduct a close review of foreign airlines that may be using a flag-of-convenience business model to undermine labor standards,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA president.

While the employment model of NAUK, a UK airline, is not clear, its Irish sister airline, Norwegian Air International, has employed pilots and flight attendants under Asian contracts. The DOT declined ALPA’s request to require NAUK to provide information on the terms of employment that would apply to the crew who will work on board its aircraft.

Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee adopted language in the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2997), which would clarify existing law by identifying the flag-of-convenience business model as a potentially disqualifying condition for an airline seeking a U.S. foreign air carrier permit. The measure would promote and strengthen U.S. jobs while upholding the letter and spirit of the U.S. Open Skies agreement with the European Union.

“Lawmakers in the U.S. House have taken clear action to support U.S. workers by blocking foreign airlines that use unfair business practices from benefiting from the U.S.–EU Air Transport Agreement,” continued Capt. Canoll. “ALPA will continue to stand up for fair competition for U.S. workers and to work with Congress to pass legislation to protect American jobs.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 57,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


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