Published on : Thursday, February 9, 2017
Pilots of the United States have demanded that Donald Trump should ground low-cost flights from Europe operated by Norwegian, including the airline’s routes from Gatwick to New York, Florida, California and Las Vegas.
Master Executive Council, which represents 12,000 United Airlines pilots, described Norwegian as a “flag-of-convenience airline”.
Norwegian operates its transatlantic flights through a Dublin-based subsidiary, Norwegian Air International Limited (NAI), which enables it to take advantage of the EU-US Open-Skies.
Captain Todd Insler, who is the chairman of Master Executive Council, said in a letter to President Trump that, former president Barack Obama’s decision to allow budget transatlantic flights will destroy the US airline industry and all of the jobs associated with it.
He also added that Norwegian’s business model is based on labour contracts governed by Singapore and Thailand and undercuts the marketplace, allowing the airline to steal US jobs.
Norwegian has outlined plans to expand its transatlantic network from the UK, including links from Manchester and Edinburgh to the US.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, the conglomerate that owns British Airways said that he expected the “open skies” agreement between Europe and the US to continue under the new American president.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has said it has no intention to start low-cost transatlantic flights while prices of long-haul aircraft remain high.