Release #: 18.11
May 11, 2018

ALPA Disappointed by U.S. Court Decision to Uphold Department of Transportation Norwegian Air International Permit Award

U.S. Senate Must End Threat from Flag-of-Convenience Foreign Airlines in Future

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Capt. Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement regarding the denial by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit of a 2016 petition filed by ALPA, the Association of Flight Attendants—CWA, the Allied Pilots Association, and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, calling for a review of a Department of Transportation decision to permit Norwegian Air International (NAI) to fly to and from the United States with a business plan that threatens U.S. jobs.

“The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l is disappointed by the Court’s decision that allows Norwegian Air International to serve the United States under a business model that will put U.S. jobs at U.S. airlines at risk from unfair foreign competition.

 “Norwegian Air International’s flag-of-convenience business model allows it to avoid labor laws by basing different portions of its operations in different countries. The NAI plan before the U.S. Department of Transportation was designed to erode labor standards—an outcome at odds with the express intent of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement.

“Today’s decision makes it more important than ever that the U.S. Senate makes clear the same commitment to enforcing U.S. trade agreements as the U.S. House did in its version of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization. The U.S. House reauthorization included the text of H.R. 2150, a bill sponsored by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Drew Ferguson (R-GA), which will require the U.S. Department of Transportation to ensure foreign air carrier permits are in the American public’s interest and as a result prevent airlines with flag-of-convenience plans from flying to and from the United States in the future.

“While we are disappointed, ALPA is no less determined in calling for the United States to enforce its trade agreements and ensure U.S. workers have a fair opportunity to compete internationally. We will work with lawmakers to build on the already strong Congressional support for ensuring foreign airlines comply with U.S. trade deals and review this court decision and take appropriate action to defend U.S. workers’ jobs.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 60,000 pilots at 34 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


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