Norwegian’s U.S. based flight attendants have delivered letters to the Obama Administration urging the “swift approval” of the foreign air carrier permit application submitted by Norwegian’s affiliate, Norwegian Air International (NAI). More than 300 U.S. flight attendants work for Norwegian at their crew bases in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Approval of the foreign carrier permit application has been pending for more than a year.
Flight attendants employed by low-cost carrier Norwegian have lobbied Washington in an effort to win the green light to expand transatlantic services.
They delivered a letter to the Obama administration urging the “swift approval” of a foreign air carrier permit application submitted by Norwegian’s affiliate, Norwegian Air International.
WASHINGTON: Champions of Open Skies agreements met yesterday in Washington DC to make the case for why the US should continue to welcome robust competition from international carriers, which they say expands markets, ensures lower airfares and improves overall customer service.
As airlines in the United States push for a review of established Open Skies treaties, a conflict has developed between the interests of select aviation industry groups and those of U.S. travel and tourism organizations.
A group that advocates for airline passengers in Washington is pushing the Department of Transportation to approve Norwegian Airlines’s bid to gain more access to airports in the U.S. and European Union to increase competition for international flights.
House Approval Sends Strong Signal that DOT Can and Must Act
Washington, DC; December 11, 2014 – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which includes pivotal new language that delivers Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application – and its job-creating, pro-consumer, low-cost service – closer to approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). NAI’s application has been pending for nearly one year.
Language Reaffirms DOT’s Authority to Approve Application
Washington, DC; December 10, 2014 – The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations
Act, 2015, introduced in Congress last night, includes important language that paves the way for U.S.
Department of Transportation (DOT) approval of Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) foreign air
carrier permit application, which has been pending for nearly a year.
Competition is going to be a big issue this coming year. It is already, but the big airlines are making moves that beg for pushback from those who want to keep them in check and keep a competitive marketplace operating.
Here is the basic situation. Competition is losing. Next year, if airlines have their way, competition will suffer even more.
The European Union believes the continued delay by US authorities in processing Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application to operate to the US marks the first breach of the EU-US air transport agreement that was signed in 2007.
Dec 2 (Reuters) – The United States has violated an aviation deal with the European Union by taking too long to grant a licence allowing budget airline Norwegian Air to boost transAtlantic flights, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
Norwegian Air, which currently flies to the United States on a temporary licence from non-EU Norway, is seeking a foreign carrier permit for its Irish subsidiary with the backing of the EU executive.
EU Still Deciding on Potential Action After Claiming U.S. Breaches Open-Skies Deal
By DOUG CAMERON And ROBERT WALL
European Union representatives said the U.S. has breached a landmark aviation treaty between two of world’s biggest aviation markets by taking too long to process a controversial effort by a Norwegian airline to expand its trans-Atlantic services.
Bjørn Kjos, the founder and CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle, is getting impatient for what he believes is inevitable — the U.S. Department of Transportation’s granting subsidiary Norwegian Air International a foreign air carrier license.
(Reuters) – The chief executive of Norwegian Air Shuttle rejected arguments by U.S. airlines and unions that his efforts to build a low-cost, long-haul airline serving the United States would undermine U.S. wages and working standards.
Instead, CEO Bjorn Kjos said U.S. airlines arguing for labor fairness actually fear his cheap ticket prices. A round-trip flight from New York to London in December costs as little as $483 on Norwegian, compared with $835 on Delta or $832 on American, according to prices posted on the airlines’ websites on Wednesday.
Norwegian Air International Will Create American Jobs, Boost Tourism and Give Americans Affordable Transatlantic Airfares
Bjørn Kjos’ speech at the International Aviation Club in Washington, DC,
November 20, 2014
Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to talk about Norwegian and how we will contribute to making sure that all Americans can afford to fly intercontinentally.
Let me start with a two quotations:
First: “I know everybody would be interested in cheaper airline tickets.”
Second: “Tourism is America’s most important, and largest, services export: growth in international visitors has created roughly 175,000 American jobs over the past five years. Our goal is 100 million visitors in 2021 supporting hundreds of thousands of additional jobs”.
These are not my or Norwegian’s words, but the words of President Obama.
Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjorn Kjos to Speak at International Aviation Club event on November 20 – PR Newswire
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2014 PRNewswire — Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjørn Kjos, who will address a standing-room only audience on November 20 at the International Aviation Club, will reinforce the benefits Norwegian Air International (NAI) service will bring to competition in the transatlantic market, the traveling public, and the global aviation industry. Kjos will again call on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to once and for all approve Norwegian’s application for a foreign air carrier permit that will provide American consumers lower fares and greater choice in air travel.
Thank you Nick P. for taking time to answer some questions. Fly2Travel truly appreciates you taking time out of your busy schedule.
Nick is a flight attendant for Norwegian Air Shuttle, a low-cost carrier based out of Norway. In 2013, Norwegian Air transported over 20.7 million people. Norwegian Air currently has a fleet size of approximately 99 aircraft that fly to 126 destinations globally.
International Travel Tops Consumer Lifetime “Bucket List”
Washington DC, October 14, 2014—Globalization gives Americans access to information and goods from countries around the world, but with the rising costs of airfare, it’s increasingly more difficult for them to experience different cultures first-hand. A new Omnibus national consumer survey conducted by Kelton, a global consumer insights firm, commissioned by Norwegian Air International (NAI), finds that the vast majority of Americans are eager to explore new places – and would jump at the chance to travel internationally – if they weren’t prevented by financial reasons. The survey results confirm that pricey flights prevent many would-be world travelers from going abroad as often as they’d like.
In fact, air transportation is a more important factor even than finding a hotel when traveling. Factors like low fares, nonstop options, and convenient routes even trump quality onboard service, and frequent flyer programs when choosing an airline carrier for travel abroad.
“Consumers are looking for low-fare, convenient, route-to-route options and see the cost of airfare as the single biggest factor in realizing their aspirations of seeing the world,” says Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian. “If afforded the opportunity, Norwegian Air International is committed to helping Americans overcome this obstacle by providing them with rates that, aren’t just competitive, but strikingly under-cutting the existing industry standard fares.”
By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times – Saturday, October 11, 2014
The European Commission requested an urgent meeting on Friday between the European Union and the United States to discuss the pending application for low-cost flight carrier Norwegian Air International.
Q&A: Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International
By Adam Snider
10/9/14 3:47 PM EDT
Earlier this week, Norwegian Air International CEO Asgeir Nyseth came by the POLITICO newsroom to talk about his airline’s bid to operate in the United States, why he has full confidence in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and why his customers shouldn’t be fighting over reclining seats and legroom. The transcript below has been edited slightly for length and clarity.
October, 10, 2014 – DUBLIN – In an unprecedented move, the European Commission requested an urgent meeting between the European Union and the United States to discuss Norwegian Air International’s pending application for a foreign air carrier permit before the U.S. Department of Transportation. The extraordinary meeting, which is being requested by the Commission on behalf of the European Union as a party to the U.S-EU Open Skies Agreement, sends a clear message that the European Union is closely watching Norwegian Air International’s application, to fly to the U.S from several cities in Europe which has been pending for over eight months.
“Why should it cost twice as much to fly from New York to Europe than from New York to Seattle?”
This question was posed by Norwegian Air International CEO Asgeir Nyseth during the course of a nearly hour-long roundtable discussion with editors from ATW and Aviation Week. Nyseth was talking about NAI’s plans—assuming it gains US Department of Transportation clearance—to operate Boeing 787s and perhaps 737 MAXs on low fares, transatlantic flights. He said this is threatening to US and European legacy carriers accustomed to charging high prices for any ticket labeled “transatlantic.”
Sure Kjos is accepted in the United States: – The man is a genius
CNN’s famous presenter Richard Quest believes it Bjørn Kjos has achieved a feat. He does not think the opposition will manage to win the license controversy in the United States.
-This man is a genius, no doubt, says Quest for E24.
-Kjos took this company and built it up to a violation fighting in competition with Easy Jet, Ryanair and others. That’s quite an accomplishment while simultaneously battling an entrenched government-controlled airlines, he says with reference to SAS.
It is in our country’s long-term interest—and simply the right thing to do — to embrace companies that offer the public better products in an environmentally responsible way. Norwegian Air International is one of those companies.
Norwegian Air Shuttle and its affiliate, Norwegian Air International, which is seeking authority from the U.S. government to provide transatlantic flights between the US and Europe, are at the forefront of airlines committed to reducing aviation emissions. Norwegian has announced a goal of lowering emissions per flown passenger by 30 percent by 2015 – a significant reduction. The Norwegian family of airlines is Europe’s largest customer of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner—the world’s “greenest” large commercial aircraft, equipped with new and innovative American technology that vastly reduces fuel burn and CO2. Along with its fuel efficient design, the 787 Dreamliner has the latest flight management systems allowing the most fuel efficient routes and a reduced noise footprint. These will help improve environmental performance of the overall aviation system. This state of the art environmentally friendly aircraft is the one that Norwegian Air International will operate between the US and Europe.
This week, the US Secretary of Transportation rejected a request from Norwegian Air International (NAI) to be granted expedited approval to begin scheduled flights to the United States on an expedited basis.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today that it will require additional time to reach a decision on Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application for a foreign carrier permit to serve the U.S. from Europe. Until then, Norwegian Air Shuttle will continue to operate flights to the U.S. under its existing authority from DOT.
Throughout the course of history, open competition has driven commercial organizations to innovate new products, services and technologies that give consumers greater choices for better products at greater value. In the United States, this simple principle has fueled the world’s largest economy that consistently delivers superior offerings to American consumers and to the world. Market competition within any industry results in innovation, lower prices, and greater customer service. Simply put, competition is good for consumers and it’s good for industry: It drives us all to be better. The airline industry is no exception.
In four recent letters, NAI pilots have reminded the Department of Transportation that they receive competitive wages and enjoy good working conditions. The pilots are “among a growing cadrew of pilots working for Norwegian” who are “anxiously awaiting the launch of NAI’s transatlantic service.” These pilots confirm that NAI pilots receive competitive salaries and enjoy good working conditions, and a positive, cooperative, and energetic work environment. NAI’s pilots, who have thousands of hours of experience and training, are subject to the oversight and licensing requirements of Ireland – one of the most robust aviation safety oversight organizations in the world. “To suggest that any of us would compromise safety . . . offends us personally and professionally.” Every day we “have our passengers and co-workers safety as our main priority.”
Throughout the course of history, open competition has driven commercial organizations to innovate new products, services and technologies that give consumers greater choices for better products at greater value. In the United States, this simple principle has fueled the world’s largest economy, which consistently delivers superior offerings to American consumers and to the world. Market competition within any industry results in innovation, lower prices and greater customer service. Simply put, competition is good for consumers, and it’s good for industry: It drives us all to be better. The airline industry is no exception.
Washington, DC–August 25, 2014–Today, Norwegian Air International filed its reply to the Department of Transportation’s (“Department’s”) notice of August 4, 2014 requesting comments on the meeting between the U.S. Government and the European Commission (“Notice”). Norwegian Air International urges the Department to grant its application for an exemption and a foreign air carrier permit without further delay.
Norwegian Air International (NAI) today filed comments with the U.S. Department of Transportation confirming its support for the European Commission’s (Commission) views that parties to the US-EU Open Skies Agreement cannot unilaterally deny NAI’s application to serve the U.S. on the basis of Article 17 bis. These views were further confirmed in a Joint Declaration of John Byerly and Daniel Calleja, who chaired the delegations of the United States and European Union, respectively, in the negotiation of the historic Open Skies Agreement, including the 2010 Protocol containing Article 17 bis.
July 30, 2014
Mr. Paul Gretch,
Office of International Aviation,
U.S. Department of Transportation,
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE,
Washington, DC 20590,
Dear Mr. Gretch
I am writing to you in relation to the application by Norwegian Air International (NAI) to the Department of Transportation for a Foreign Air Carrier permit and exemption authority.
I wish to express this Department’s concern at some of the comments relating to NAI’s application which appear to question Ireland’s capability to provide effective safety oversight of NAI’s operations.
Bjorn Kjos, chief executive of an airline that had a nightmare experience with its first two 787s last year, could now moonlight as a salesman for the Dreamliner.
Norwegian Air, his new international low-cost carrier, now has a fleet of seven Dreamliners that he’s flying on very long routes such as London to Bangkok and back. With minimal down time at each end, that’s up to 18 hours flying in a day.
“The Dreamliner is the first airplane built to fly such high utilization. It’s performing to it,” said Kjos. “It’s going better and better actually.”
Kjos is a former Norwegian Air Force fighter pilot, who patrolled his country’s air space during the Cold War, intercepting Russian jets in a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.
After eight years in the military, he got a law degree and later fell into running a small regional airline “more or less by accident,” he said.
Today, Norwegian Air is a very successful low-cost carrier flying all around Europe. It’s long-haul unit, Norwegian Air International, is pioneering the use of the 787 to do for international travel what Southwest Airlines did for U.S. domestic air travel with the 737.
As former Secretaries of Transportation, we support the application of Norwegian Air International currently pending before DOT to provide low-fare transatlantic service to the United States. Through our public statements, we have encouraged approval of Norwegian’s application because the carrier satisfies all legal and regulatory requirements contained in U.S. law and the binding U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement.
The boss of budget long-haul airline Norwegian has hit back at critics, claiming they are “afraid of competition”, amid a raging debate over how the Scandinavian company employs workers.
Norwegian launched a twice-weekly transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles on Wednesday, and will also fly to Fort Lauderdale and New York, beginning this week. These event marks the first venture into budget long-haul flights since Freddie Laker’s Skytrain failed in 1982.
Norwegian Air Shuttle’s plan to launch the biggest low-cost airline crossing the Atlantic took another hit last week when former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the federal government should withhold a permit for the carrier, pending further studies.
The Norway-based carrier is awaiting approval from the U.S. for permission to fly into the country from a base in Ireland.
Airlines and labor unions charge that Norwegian — Europe’s third-largest low-cost carrier — is opening a base in Ireland to take advantage of more lenient labor laws, with plans to undercut transatlantic fares charged by other carriers.
NAI Responds to Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood Distorted Op-ED
June 27 – Norwegian Air International’s application to operate to the US has been pending before the US Department of Transportation (DOT) four times longer than the average application by a European carrier since the US-EU Open Skies Agreement took effect. The approval is long overdue and is being opposed by several large airlines and their powerful labor unions in an attempt to block competition and deny the American people affordable airfares to Europe. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, John Byerly, who is advising Norwegian, said “former Secretary LaHood’s call for further examination and delay in DOT’s consideration of Norwegian’s application is surprising. After hundreds of pages of legal filings in the DOT docket, formal discussions in the US-EU Open Skies Agreement Joint Committee, and the over four months that DOT has had to weigh the regulatory record, there simply are no ‘unanswered questions.’” Norwegian’s opponents know that the application is in full accordance with the US-EU Open Skies accord.
Norwegian Air Shuttle could be first to link Republic tourist hub Thailand
Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle is considering launching a Dublin to Bangkok service next year in a move that could make it the first airline to connect the Republic directly with the major tourist hub.
A spokesman for the company, whose long-haul operations are licensed and managed by a subsidiary based in the Republic, confirmed yesterday the airline is considering launching the Dublin-Bangkok service.
Congress is trying to block Norwegian Air’s low-cost flights.
Eleven paragraphs into this Time magazine article on ways to save money on your summer vacation lays buried a revelation that should bring every American’s blood to a rolling boil: At the behest of industry lobbyists, Congress has begun to obstruct a private airline from making inexpensive flights to Europe available to the American public:
America is the land of rugged individualism, of free-market capitalism, of fair and open competition, where anyone with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit can offer his goods or services and strike it rich with the right idea. Well, isn’t it? Sadly, this seems to be the case less and less. The latest example of this comes from the U.S. airline industry.
Disney’s latest animated blockbuster, “Frozen” is firing up Norway’s tourism sector, as U.S. fans flock to experience the country’s scenic delights.
The movie, which is set in the imaginary Kingdom of Arendelle, is loosely modelled on Norway’s rugged coastline. Scandinavian mythology also runs through film, which features trolls, runes and staves churches.
Following the premier of Disney’s Frozen earlier this year, travel to Norway from the US jumped 37 percent between January and March compared to that time last year, according to Innovation Norway.
Unions on both sides of the Atlantic have alleged bogus labor violations by Norwegian Air —accusations which the chief regulator at the Irish Aviation Authority dismissed as “rubbish.” The Department of Transportation now faces a clear choice—side with American travelers by approving Norwegian Air’s application or cave in to politically connected special interests.
Cheapest Flight to Europe Before It’s Too Late
Low-fare carrier Norwegian Air has been aggressively trying to expand service between Europe and the U.S. The airline, which has offered transatlantic round trips for under $500 (taxes included), recently brought its low-cost service to more U.S. cities, including Orlando.
Norwegian Air is offering new low-cost flights between Oslo and Orlando International Airport. Executives and local leaders are addressing concerns about the airline’s business model and safety.
Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Executive Director Phil Brown says Norwegian Air is the first to offer low-cost long-haul flights at OIA.
“This is sort of cutting edge because there’s not many airlines that fly long-haul that are low-cost.”
A new airline, Norwegian Air, is now up and running at Orlando International Airport. The airline specializes in low fares and is running two flights a week between Oslo, Norway and Orlando. On Tuesday, airlines representatives, along with Mayor Buddy Dyer, met at the Citrus Club for the official announcement.
The airline offers nonstop service with one-way fares starting at $236. Those cheap fares will get travelers access to over 94 connections in Europe and Thailand.
Norwegian Air landed its first flight at Orlando International Airport on May 29, making way for a new avenue of business and tourists worth about $32 million for Central Florida. But there’s even more to this deal than meets the eye.
Norwegian Air officials were in town on June 17, along with an impressive lineup of local officials and businesspeople, to discuss more about what the airline carrier’s new service to Orlando means for our region.
Big European discount airline Wizz Air’s decision to put off an initial public offering announced as recently as last month — due to “current market volatility” — appears to confirm Warren Buffett’s regularly reiterated description of the airline industry as a “death trap for investors.” It would be wrong, however, to write off discount airlines as a bad investment: The revolution they started in the 1990s isn’t over yet.
BRUSSELS — The European Union’s top transport official expressed deep disappointment on Tuesday with an attempt by American lawmakers to block plans by Norwegian Air Shuttle to offer new cut-rate flights across the Atlantic, and hinted at possible legal action if Washington failed to grant an operating license to the budget carrier’s long-distance subsidiary.
A measure aimed at grounding an upstart airline offering affordable fares for transcontinental travel appears headed for a vote in the House of Representatives.
The transportation appropriations bill is seen as a vehicle for an amendment targeting Norwegian Air International’s new service at U.S. airports, airline officials were told by consultants.
The Obama administration has been actively promoting international tourism and a major reduction in barriers to trade between the U.S. and EU—goals that can be immediately furthered by approving Norwegian Air International’s application to provide low-fare competitive transatlantic air service.
Norwegian Air has for the past year offered 100,000 Americans the ability to fly affordably between the United States and Scandinavia on its fleet of brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Norwegian has also carried 200,000 passengers to the U.S., giving a boost to American tourism.
The airline has created hundreds of new jobs in the air as well as thousands on the ground in the travel- and tourism-related industries. The airline has been very well received by the traveling public; high-profile politicians, tourism authorities and local governments have also given their support.
Unfortunately the labor unions and U.S. airlines are continuing to do everything they can to block the competition.
Irish Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Washington Airports Task Force
Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
Federal Express Corporation
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
A Concerned Citizen for a Fair America
European Low Fares Airline Association
Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport of Ireland
Teresa Jacobs, Mayor of Orange County
A Concerned Citizen for a Fair America
Broward County Aviation Department
Atlas Air, Inc.
Port of Oakland