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Pilot groups intensify attacks on Norwegian

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Groups want Europe and US to reject long-haul license

Pilot groups and airline unions are asking authorities in Europe and the US to reject Norwegian’s request for a new long-haul license. Speaking in Oslo, they say the airline is trying to avoid taxes and get around employment laws.

Norwegian, the only budget carrier in Europe to launch long-haul operations, wants to register the long-haul business in Ireland and keep its Thai crew together with some newly recruited American staff.

Labour groups such as Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) and the transport sector of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) argue that Norwegian’s plans are to take advantage of regulatory loopholes, putting safety at risk.

Pilots from ALPA joined airline industry employees from across Europe and North America in Oslo to make clear their “collective, resolute opposition” to Norwegian’s bid to dodge Norway’s labour laws.

“Norwegian Air International has concocted a blatant plan to avoid Norway’s labour laws and contradict the US-EU air services agreement so that the company can gain an unfair advantage over airlines that do abide by their national laws and international agreements,” said Captain Lee Moak, ALPA’s president.

“If allowed to stand, NAI’s plan will unfairly threaten North American and European airlines’ ability to compete globally as well as the jobs of hundreds of thousands of airline employees. NAI’s attempt to cheat the system must be flatly rejected.”

Reuters / ATN

[photo courtesy Norwegian]

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