The Allied Pilots Association, certified collective bargaining agent for the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, expressed strong opposition to the Department of Transportation’s decision to grant tentative approval to Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign air carrier permit.The DOT decision is now open for public comment before the department makes a final decision. If the DOT decision stands, Norwegian Air International would be able to fly to and from the United States in direct competition with US carriers on long-haul international routes.
“Norwegian Air International is a blatant flag of convenience scheme based on scouring the globe for cheap labor to undercut the competition,” said APA President Capt. Keith Wilson. “There’s no other plausible explanation for its convoluted corporate structure — an Irish subsidiary that won’t serve Ireland and hires most of its crews in Thailand through a Singapore-based recruitment firm.
“APA will appeal the DOT in the strongest possible terms to revise its tentative decision. The hundreds of thousands of hard-working, middle-class Americans employed by U.S. carriers deserve more thoughtful public policy,” he said. “After more than a decade marked by serial bankruptcy filings and consolidation, U.S. airlines are finally on solid financial ground. It makes no sense for the DOT to sacrifice that hard-earned well being.”