Norwegian chief defends plans to launch low-cost airline

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.


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