Cheap seats the hard way

Hotel SearchIf you thought the airline business was complicated by laws, regulations, treaties, bureaucrats, lobbyists and legislators, keep reading, because it could get interesting.

We are referring to the story of Norwegian Air International, or «Norwegian,» a new transatlantic carrier known to agency reservations systems as DY and to the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) as the devil. It trades on the Oslo stock exchange and it’s growing. It has 275 aircraft on order.

Operating new Boeing Dreamliners, the carrier offers low fare services from New York and Fort Lauderdale to Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, to be supplemented this year by routes to Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando.

But the carrier’s boldest plan is to launch low fare service this July from New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale to London Gatwick.

The route expansion is accompanied by an even bolder corporate plan to register the carrier’s long haul aircraft in Ireland and establish the company as an airline of Ireland, using contract crews hired through a staffing cheap jerseys agency.

Ordinarily this sort of thing doesn’t happen in the bilateral world of international aviation. Historically, country A and country B exchange bilateral traffic rights, reserving direct service for airlines based in and regulated by those countries. This is why, even with Nafta, Aeromexico doesn’t operate between Miami and Toronto. and the European Union. country, which is why British Airways operates its Open Skies brand between New York and Paris. countries such as Norway. (such as, say, London).

In attempting to move that concept from theory to reality, Norwegian has attracted the attention of ALPA and the AFL CIO, which have called on the Transportation Department (DOT) to put the kibosh on the whole plan. According to the labor groups, Norwegian is trying to set itself up in Ireland with the «express intent of evading» Norway’s labor laws.

They claim that the DOT should not allow an airline to «shop around for the labor laws and regulations that best suit its bottom line,» but isn’t that what most companies do when they incorporate in Delaware and shop around for office space and factory sites?

We think Norwegian deserves credit for seizing this opportunity, and we think that if Ireland issues a license to Norwegian, the DOT should accept it and let the traveling public have some cheap seats to London because the market may not get them any other way.

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