NAI is at it again. Demonstrating one more time that the company’s management is willing to do anything to obtain the foreign air carrier permit that has been deemed unlawful.
If you recall, in late April, Norwegian Air International (NAI) senior management engaged in a dialogue reeking of coercion—more than alluding to stalling negotiations with Boeing for current B-787 orders unless the permit was approved, threatening U.S. manufacturing jobs. It was just a bluff, we called them on it, and the next week, NAI ordered more Boeing airplanes. This week, in a predictable move, NAI allies threatened legal action should the U.S. Department of Transportation justly deny NAI’s permit. What’s coming next week? Will their EU allies threaten the U.S. with economic sanctions?
In a media interview this week, Siim Kallas, a vice president of the European Commission in charge of transportation, is quoted as saying, “I would hope that in the end, openness will win and that we won’t have to get the lawyers involved.”
Aren’t the lawyers already involved? Isn’t the public already involved? Isn’t the U.S. House of Representativesinvolved? This is a very serious, contested issue—who isn’t involved?
Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed by voice vote an amendment to a transportation funding bill—and did so in 3 minutes from the amendment submission to the vote.
Not surprisingly, the amendment didn’t do anything controversial. It simply stated that for the Department of Transportation to approve a foreign air carrier permit application, the permit cannot contravene United States law or Article 17 bis of the U.S.–E.U.–Iceland–Norway Air Transport Agreement. In short, the amendment, which ALPA aggressively supported, enforces the existing law without mentioning any specific airline or operation.
It’s not shocking that there was unanimity among both parties that voted to support the Westmoreland-DeFazio amendment that prohibits shopping for cheap labor and simply requires the Department of Transportation to follow the law and provisions agreed to in the U.S.-EU Transport Agreement. Read ALPA’s statement.
ALPA’s defense of fair competition in the global marketplace came through loud and clear in our union’s recent DOT filing stating no opposition to French airline Dreamjet’s request for the authority to fly to and from the United States.
In contrast, Norwegian Air International (NAI), a creative concoction to avoid Norway’s employment laws, undermines fair competition. ALPA’s steady opposition to NAI’s application is growing in volume every day as are the number of voices echoing ALPA’s call for Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to reject it.