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Norwegian to open crew bases in USA

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Airline hires around 170 American crew members

Norwegian says it will soon open its first crew base in New York. A further base in Fort Lauderdale will open later in the first quarter of this year. Norwegian is the first European carrier to establish crew bases in the US, offering several hundred jobs to American crew.

During 2014, 300 American crew members will be working for the company. In its first year of full operation, Norwegian says it will fly one million passengers in and out of the US. Around 170 cabin crew members have been recruited in New York and Fort Lauderdale.

However, the airline has already aroused the antipathy of US labour groups by proposing to operate its US services through an Irish subsidiary, using contract crews provided by a staffing service.

Norwegian started its long-haul operations in 2013 with routes between Europe and both Thailand and the US. In 2014, the route network will expand to include 14 routes between the US and Europe.

“Norwegian’s goal is to bring innovative service at a low fare to the US market with brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliners,” the airline’s CEO, Bjørn Kjos, explains. “Our goal is that everyone should afford to fly. In our opinion, air fare between the US and Europe has been far too expensive. To maintain an effective operation, crew bases will be placed at the start or end of the route segment.”

He added: “We also encourage American pilots to come work for us. To do so, they will need an EASA license.”

Boarding / Travel Weekly

[pictured: Cabin crew at course in New York; photo courtesy Norwegian]

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