page counter OST-2015-0261 - Norwegian Air UK - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger Exemption and Permit

Home | Search | Help
OST by Number | OST by Order | OST by Carrier | OST by Subject | OST by Day
OIA by Carrier/Subject | OIA by Day | FAA by Number | FAA by Subject | FAA by Day
Carrier Financials | Charter Office


OST-2015-0261 - Norwegian Air UK - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger Exemption and Permit

http://www.norwegian.com/uk/

 

OST-2021-0117 - Norse Atlantic Airways - Norway/EU-US Scheduled Passenger Exemption and Permit

OST-2013-0204 - Norwegian Air International - EU/Iceland/Norway-US Scheduled Passenger
OST-2018-0133 - Norwegian Air Norway - Norway/EU-US Scheduled and Charter
OST-2012-0075 - Norwegian Air Shuttle - Norway/EU-US
OST-2018-0197 - Norwegian Air Sweden - EU-US Scheduled Passenger

OST-2012-0174 - Norwegian Long Haul - Norway/EU-US Scheduled Passenger

ALPA, et al v. US DOT - DC Circuit Court

Norwegian Air Shuttle Complaint with EU Against SAS - December 15, 2014

 

 


Norwegian Air UK Limited

OST-2015-0261 - Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger

December 11, 2015

Application for an Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit

Norwegian UK requests authority to engage in:

  1. Foreign scheduled and charter air transportation of persons, property and mail from any point or points behind any Member State(s) of the European Union, via any point or points in any Member State and via intermediate points, to any point or points in the United States and beyond;
  2. Foreign scheduled and charter air transportation of persons, property, and mail between any point or points in the United States and any point or points in any member of the European Common Aviation Area;
  3. Foreign scheduled and charter all-cargo air transportation between any point or points in the United States and any other point or points;
  4. Other charters pursuant to the prior approval requirements of 14 CFR Part 212 of the Department’s Regulations; and
  5. Scheduled and charter transportation consistent with any future, additional rights that may be granted to European Union carriers under the US-EU Open Skies Agreement.

Norwegian UK’s affiliate, Norwegian Air Shuttle, is already the third largest operator at London’s Gatwick Airport. After receiving authority from DOT, Norwegian UK intends to operate flights between its London Gatwick hub and the US, as well as other destinations in Europe and throughout the world.

Counsel: Pillsbury Winthrop, Josh Romanow, 202-663-8000


 

December 28, 2015

Answer of Allied Pilots Association

In its painfully abbreviated Application, Norwegian UK indicates that it intends to offer service on its Boeing 787 fleet between London Gatwick, the US and other destinations. Norwegian UK remains conspicuously and, as explained below, disturbingly silent as to the method by which it intends to employ pilots and flight attendants for these long-haul flights. The DOT, however, is charged to ensure that Norwegian UK does not undercut labor standards, but instead encourages “fair wages and working conditions,” and “strengthen[s] the competitive position of [US] air carriers to at least insure equality with foreign air carriers.” The DOT thus ensures that granting a foreign air carrier permit to a carrier would be “in the public interest,” as required under 49 USC § 41302, and consistent with the letter and spirit of the US-European/Norway/Iceland Air Transport Agreement.

Norwegian UK is an affiliate of Norwegian Air Shuttle, a foreign air carrier of Norway. As the Department well knows, a foreign air carrier permit application is already pending for another NAS affiliate, Norwegian Air International Limited. See Application of Norwegian Air International Limited, Dkt. No. OST-2013-0204-0001 (Dec. 2, 2013). In response to that application, APA and others have explained that, for many of their long-haul flights, NAS and NAI use an employment model designed to circumvent Norwegian and European social laws—and thus offer substantially inferior terms of employment—by sub-contracting pilot hiring through a Singaporean staffing agency, using individual employment contracts governed by Singapore law, and basing pilots in Thailand. See, e.g., Declaration of Jack Nestar, Answer of Air Line Pilots Association to Application of Norwegian Air International Limited for an Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit, Dkt. OST-2013-0204-0002 (Dec. 17, 2013). Despite repeated requests for information, NAI and NAS have done nothing to dispel the concern that these employment practices will be applied to flying to and from the United States, and have instead remained vague about their plans for staffing such long-haul operations.

Norwegian UK’s silence on the question of how it intends to employ B787 pilots and flight attendants is just as troubling. Until Norwegian UK provides credible information otherwise, there is every reason to believe its long-haul operations will use sub-contracted flight crews employed directly by non-EU entities, just as have NAS and other NAS affiliates. That approach undercuts labor standards and thus neither encourages “fair wages and working conditions,” 49 USC § 40101(a)(5), nor “strengthen[s] the competitive position of [US] air carriers to at least insure equality with foreign air carriers.” 49 USC § 40101(a)(15) and (e)(I). As such, granting a foreign air carrier permit to a carrier with such employment practices would not be “in the public interest,” as required under 49 USC § 41302, or consistent with the US-EU ATA.

The Department of Transportation cannot properly evaluate Norwegian UK’s Application until that carrier provides the Department with critical, as-yet unavailable information about how it plans to secure and maintain its long-haul flight crews. Given Norwegian UK’s affiliation with NAS and NAS’s employment practices, Norwegian UK’s Application warrants greater scrutiny by the DOT, not less, on these critical issues; certainly, Norwegian UK’s Application is an inappropriate vehicle for the “expedited processing” the carrier seeks. The Department of Transportation should therefore deny Norwegian UK’s request for expedited processing and take no further action on Norwegian UK’s exemption and permit application until such time as Norwegian UK discloses its plans for hiring pilots and flight attendants for its B787 flight operations.

Counsel: James & Hoffman, Edgar James, 202-496-0500




December 28, 2015

Joint Answer of Air Line Pilots Association, Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO, Transport Workers Union of America AFL-CIO and European Cockpit Association

The record in the NAI proceeding shows that NAI is staffing its long-haul flights with flight crew based in Thailand and employed by non-European crew supply companies on employment contracts governed by Asia law: Singapore law in the case of pilots and Thailand law in the case of flight attendants. The record in that case further shows the terms and conditions of employment for those pilots and flight attendants are substantially inferior to those that apply to pilots and flight attendants employed directly by Norwegian or its subsidiaries. The Labor Parties showed that granting NAI either an exemption or a foreign air carrier permit would be inconsistent with the public interest standards set out in the aviation statutes and the provisions of the ATA, in particular, Article 17 bis.

NAUK's application contains no information as to the employment arrangements that will apply to the pilots and flight attendants who will staff the aircraft that NAUK intends to use to serve the US. NAUK may play to hire those pilots and flight attendants directly; it may plan to contract them from a UK hiring agency; or it may plan to contract them from non-EU hiring companies that employ the pilots on flight attendants on extra-European contracts, as it is currently done by Norwegian and NAI.

This ambiguity is highlighted by how Norwegian has staffed its UK operations at Gatwick to date. To staff its Gatwick Boeing 737 operations Norwegian has contracted for a number of pilots who are employed by OSM Aviation and based in London. OSM has signed a recognition agreement covering those pilots with BALPA over the employment terms that will apply to them. Some months ago BALPA was led to believe by OSM and Norwegian that the pilots who are to operate NAUK's Boeing 787s - including NAUK's 787 service to the US - would also be based in London, employed by OSM and covered by the recognition agreement. To date, that has not happened, and Norwegian, NAUK and OSM have not made clear the hiring and basing plans for the 787 pilots. As similar structure exists with respect to flight attendants: OSM has a recognition agreement with labor union Unite for the London-based flight attendants who work on Norwegian's Gatwick 737 flights, but it is not clear whether the flight attendants who are to staff NAUK's Gatwick 787 flights will be covered by that agreement.

By: TTD, Edward Wytkind, 202-628-9262 / ALPA, Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 / ECA, Philip von Schoppenthau, 32-2-705-3293 / TWU, Alex Garcia, 202-719-3870


 

December 29, 2015

Comments of Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority supports Norwegian Air UK Limited's application in the above-referenced docket for authority to provide foreign scheduled and charter air transportation to the full extent permitted under the US-EU-Iceland-Norway open skies Air Transport Agreement of 2011.

The application complies fully wilh the requirements for authorization in the US-EU Open Skies agreement and with the procedures for reciprocal recognition of regulatory determinations with regard to airline fitness and citizenship established by the US-EU Joint Corrunittee and DOT regulations in 2009.

By: Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

 

December 31, 2015

Comments of Port of Oakland

On behalf of the Port of Oakland and the Oakland International Airport, I appreciate the opportunity to offer our support of the Norwegian Air UK Limited application for an exemption and foreign air carrier permit in the docket proceeding referenced above. We believe that the carrier's application is in compliance with the US-EU Air Transport Agreement and should be approved as stipulated in the agreement.

By: Kristi McKenney





January 4, 2016

Joint Answer of Air Line Pilots Association, Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO, Transport Workers Union of America AFL-CIO, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Internatoinal Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and European Cockpit Association

The record in the NAI proceeding shows that NAI is staffing its long-haul flights with flight crew based in Thailand and employed by non-European crew supply companies on employment contracts governed by Asia law: Singapore law in the case of pilots and Thailand law in the case of flight attendants. The record in that case further shows the terms and conditions of employment for those pilots and flight attendants are substantially inferior to those that apply to pilots and flight attendants employed directly by Norwegian or its subsidiaries. The Labor Parties showed that granting NAI either an exemption or a foreign air carrier permit would be inconsistent with the public interest standards set out in the aviation statutes and the provisions of the ATA, in particular, Article 17 bis.

NAUK's application contains no information as to the employment arrangements that will apply to the pilots and flight attendants who will staff the aircraft that NAUK intends to use to serve the US. NAUK may play to hire those pilots and flight attendants directly; it may plan to contract them from a UK hiring agency; or it may plan to contract them from non-EU hiring companies that employ the pilots on flight attendants on extra-European contracts, as it is currently done by Norwegian and NAI.

This ambiguity is highlighted by how Norwegian has staffed its UK operations at Gatwick to date. To staff its Gatwick Boeing 737 operations Norwegian has contracted for a number of pilots who are employed by OSM Aviation and based in London. OSM has signed a recognition agreement covering those pilots with BALPA over the employment terms that will apply to them. Some months ago BALPA was led to believe by OSM and Norwegian that the pilots who are to operate NAUK's Boeing 787s - including NAUK's 787 service to the US - would also be based in London, employed by OSM and covered by the recognition agreement. To date, that has not happened, and Norwegian, NAUK and OSM have not made clear the hiring and basing plans for the 787 pilots. As similar structure exists with respect to flight attendants: OSM has a recognition agreement with labor union Unite for the London-based flight attendants who work on Norwegian's Gatwick 737 flights, but it is not clear whether the flight attendants who are to staff NAUK's Gatwick 787 flights will be covered by that agreement.

Counsel: Edward Wytkind, 202-628-9262 for TTD AFL-CIO / Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 for ALPA / Alex Garcia, 202-719-3870 for TWU AFL-CIO / Sara Nelson, 202-434-0574 for AFA-CWA / Sito Pantoja, 301-967-4596 for IAMAW / Philip von Schoppenthau, 32-2-705-3293 for ECA




January 4, 2016

Comments of Atlas Air

Atlas Air, Inc. supports the application and urges the Department to grant at least the exemption portion expeditiously in order to promote aviation liberalization and the expansion of air services that the agreement was designed to achieve.

Notwithstanding scattered objections, the application presents a simple matter that the Department ought to resolve quickly. As stated by the applicant, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has determined that Norwegian UK meets applicable standards and has issued the requisite operating authority. Article 6 bis of the US-EU agreement requires the Department to recognize the CAA's findings with respect to Norwegian UK's fitness and citizenship. The route rights sought by Norwegian UK are consistent in all respects with those afforded by the US-EU agreement to airlines of EU Member States. In short, there is no valid reason to delay granting Norwegian UK the authority it has requested. DOT ought to proceed to award the authority expeditiously.

Counsel: Atlas Air, Russell Pommer, 202-822-9121




January 4, 2016

Answer of Federal Express

Federal Express Corporation files this answer to the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited out of a continuing sense of concern. The concern arises from the fact that the so-called "open skies debate" still continues before the Department, in private meetings and public advertisements, despite the incontrovertible fact that the policy is beneficial for all stakeholders. Since it appears that the policy - and the agreements based on it - still must be defended from those that seek to turn a straight-forward, pro-trade agreement into a mass of exceptions and second thoughts for the benefit of those that want a one-way competitive street, FedEx files this Answer to NUK's request for operating authority.

NUK's application complies fully with the requirements of Article 4 of the US-EU Open Skies agreement, with the procedures for reciprocal recognition of regulatory determinations with regard to airline fitness and citizenship established by the Joint Committee through an exchange of letters completed January 12, 2009, and with the "Application Procedures for Foreign Air Carriers of the European Union" established by the Department on February 19, 2009.

The parties to the US-EU agreement, including both the US and the UK, agreed that their airlines should not file extensive documentation anymore, because the decision of the certifying authorities deserved mutual respect. The parties directly addressed whether each side should probe deeply into the determinations of the other side and the decision was made not to do so. Instead, an abbreviated format was specified by the Department. As the Department itself said: "Under this arrangement, the US Department of Transportation uses determinations made by aeronautical authorities of Member States on the fitness and citizenship of their air carriers, rather than basing these findings on detailed evidentiary submissions filed by applicant EU air carriers... "

In the instant case, that determination has been made by the UK Civil Aviation Authority after an extensive review, and the air operators' certificate has been issued. NUK is recognized as a UK carrier, and thus entitled to exercise all the rights and privileges of (and to conform with all the responsibilities imposed by) the US-EU Open Skies Agreement. The US is not permitted, by the terms of the agreement and pursuant to its own procedures, to second guess that conclusion or to add new requirements.

The US-EU Open Skies agreement is one of the most important documents among the long list of air services agreements successfully negotiated jointly by the Department, the State Department and the Commerce Department on behalf of all US stakeholders. FedEx is intervening in this matter not in defense of the subject carrier, but in support of the basic principle that the US should honor its agreements. This agreement should not be diminished by those who would read into it new unilateral requirements ex post facto to serve anti-competitive goals. The Department should act quickly to confirm the continuance of NUK's filing and grant its request for operating authority.

Counsel: FedEx, Courtney Felts, 901-434-8632




January 4, 2016

Comments of Maryland Aviation Administration

The Maryland Aviation Administration, owner and operator of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, supports Norwegian Air UK Limited's application in the above-referenced docket for authority to provide foreign scheduled and charter air transportation to the full extent pennitted under the US-EU-Iceland-Norway Open Skies Air Transport Agreement of 2011. We believe Norwegian UK's application is in compliance with the requirements for authorization in the US-EU Open Skies agreement and with the procedures for reciprocal recognition of regulatory determinations with regard to airline fitness and citizenship established by the US-EU Joint Committee and DOT regulations in 2009.

By: Ricky Smith




January 4, 2016

Comments of US Travel Association

The US Travel Association, a national non-profit representing all aspects of the American travel industry, supports the application of Norwegian Air UK Limitedfor an exemption and foreign air carrier permit, which was submitted to the Department of Transportation on December 11, 2015.

Norwegian UK’s application complies fully with the US-EU-Iceland-Norway Air Transport Agreement of June 21, 2011, as amended, and with the expedited application procedures made available to foreign air carriers of the European Union.

Due to the substantial public benefits Norwegian UK will deliver to the US and the carrier’s adherence to the letter and spirit of the ATA, I encourage the Department of Transportation to approve the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited in a timely manner.

By: Roger Dow


 

January 5, 2016

Comments of Washington Airports Task Force

The WATF is submitting this letter of support because of the importance of the US-EU Open Skies Agreement and the important economic development that has occurred as a result of the international air service that has been created through new international service to many communities across the US. Washington Dulles Airport will most likely not be a primary destination for Norwegian Air UK Limited, but the efforts on the part of entrenched network carriers and other organizations to limit competition and restrain economic activity and competition must be challenged. The US-EU Open Skies Agreement is a very pro-business, straight forward agreement that has had nothing but benefits for US carriers and should not now be used to limit opportunities for communities to share in the economic success of this agreement.

The Washington Airports Task Force respectfully requests that the Department grant Norwegian Air UK Limited's application for authority to operate to the US "with minimal procedural delay," as required by the US-EU Open Skies Agreement.

By: Keith Meurlin, 703-572-8714


 

January 7, 2016

Reply of Scandinavian Airlines System

SAS supports the Labor Parties' request that NAUK provide responses to the Labor Parties' information and document request so that the Department and interested parties can determine if NA UK's application is compatible with the provisions of Article 17 bis of the US-EU Open Skies Agreement. Federal Express, Atlas Air and others cite to Articles 4 and 6 bis of the Open Skies Agreement, but ignore entirely the importance of Article 17 bis to deciding whether NAUK's application can be granted by the Department.

As the Labor Parties observe, NAUK' s minimalist application is strikingly similar to that filed by its corporate affiliate, Ireland-based Norwegian Air International, in December 2013. That application was controversial because NAI's employment model for its US-EU long-haul flights relied on pilots and cabin crews employed by non-European crew staffing companies with employment contracts based on Asian law. Such practices, which undermined the "high labor standards" protected by Article 17 bis, would have created unfair competitive conditions for US and other foreign carriers on US-EU routes, leading SAS and others to oppose grant of the NAI application. Due to these bilateral and competitive concerns, NAI's foreign air carrier permit application to this date has not been approved by the Department.

NAUK's application leaves unclear whether NAUK seeks to emulate NAI's controversial crew hiring practices or whether NAUK's 787 long-haul crews like its Gatwick short-haul crews will be employed predominantly by OSM Aviation, a UK crew hiring firm, with cabin crews based in London, and their conditions of employment subject to UK labor law. The latter could be compatible with Article 17 bis and go far to support grant of NAUK's application.

The additional information sought by the Labor Parties which SAS supports would inform the record with a better understanding of NAUK's proposed employment practices for its US-EU long-haul services. With this information in hand, interested parties would be in a better position to comment on the substantive issues raised by NAUK's application and the Department would be in a better position to dete1mine whether the application is consistent with Article 17 bis' protection of high labor standards and should be approved.

As noted, Federal Express and Atlas Air cite to Articles 4 and 6 bis of the Open Skies Agreement, while others filing supporting answers (US Travel, Oakland, Orlando and Maryland Aviation Administration) cite to the benefits of potential new services. However they all ignore entirely what the Labor Parties emphasize-- the importance of Article 17 bis in deciding whether NAUK's application can be granted by the Department. The Labor Parties request for NAUK to provide additional information should therefore be granted.

Counsel: Silverberg Goldman, Michael Goldman, 202-944-3305


 

January 11, 2016

Consolidated Reply of Norwegian Air UK

As the comments in support of its application recognize, Norwegian UK has complied with all requirements of the Open Skies Agreement and provided all necessary documentation set forth by the Department in its “Application Procedures for Foreign Air Carriers of the European Union.”

The submissions of the Answering Parties rest not on evidence of non-compliance with the application and authorization requirements of the Open Skies Agreement, but rather on a demand for a vast panoply of information outside the scope of the requirements of the Open Skies Agreement and of the Department’s own requirements for such applications. In an exchange of letters completed January 12, 2009, the representatives of the Parties to the Open Skies Agreement, acting in the Joint Committee pursuant to an express mandate in Article 18, paragraph 4(f) of the 2007 Agreement, approved “Procedures for the Reciprocal Recognition of Regulatory Determinations with Regard to Airline Fitness and Citizenship.”6 The importance of streamlining the application and authorization process was underscored by the decision of the Parties to incorporate the reciprocal recognition procedures in a new Article 6 bis of the Agreement through the “second-stage” 2010 Protocol, which facilitated the Parties’ ability to fulfill the fundamental legal commitment in Article 4 of the Open Skies Agreement to grant authorization with “minimum procedural delay.”

Quite simply, the Open Skies Agreement requires none of the information the Answering Parties request, and demanding such information of Norwegian UK would be unprecedented, unwarranted, and unsupportable. Moreover, the Open Skies Agreement does not empower the European Union or the United States to sit in unilateral judgment of labor practices or agreements of airlines of other parties to the Open Skies Agreement. As aptly articulated by FedEx in its Answer, “[t]his agreement should not be diminished by those who would read into it new unilateral requirements ex post facto to serve anti-competitive goals. The Department should act quickly to confirm the conformance of Norwegian UK’s filing and grant its request for operating authority.”

The Department has granted plenary US-EU Open Skies authority to at least sixty-four European air carriers since the Open Skies Agreement was signed. The average time for granting these applications was fifty-three days, allowing the carriers to promptly offer consumers the benefits of expanded air service and airline competition. Norwegian UK’s application should be granted quickly as well, so that similar benefits can flow to US and EU passengers.

For the foregoing reasons, especially given the public benefits to be provided by its proposed service, Norwegian UK respectfully requests that the Department grant the exemption and foreign air carrier permit requested in its application.

Counsel: Pillsbury Winthrop, Josh Romanow, 202-663-8000




January 11, 2016

Comments of Denver International Airport

DEN supported the Obama Administration’s historic success in obtaining the US-EU Open Skies agreement. We believed then, and still do, that an open transatlantic air service market will foster innovation, enhance competitive choice and benefit consumers. We are concerned that a failure by the Department to expeditiously consider and rule on Norwegian Air UK’s application could have a chilling effect on these benefits by signaling the US in fact does not welcome new transatlantic competitive entry. Moreover, we worry it would strain air service relations with the United Kingdom and the European Commission which could undermine DEN’s ongoing efforts to welcome more European visitors.

Mr. Secretary, we are confident the Department will make the right decision for passengers on the record before it. Delaying a decision would be unfair to all concerned, including the passengers who would benefit from greater competitive choice if the application is approved. Accordingly, we urge no delay in issuing a decision on Norwegian Air UK’s pending application.

By: Kim Day




January 19, 2016

Objection by Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association to Motion of Norwegian Air UK

A review of NAUK’s Application shows that it is devoid of any details regarding how the flight deck and cabin crews will be hired and managed. Such information is not only relevant but key to the Department of Transportation’s mandate on supporting “fair wages and working conditions,” 49 USC § 40101(a)(5) when approving Foreign Air Carrier Permits.

This very issue, pilot and cabin crew staffing plans, came up in a similar application by Norwegian Air International Limited, the Ireland-based corporate affiliate of NAUK. In NAI's December 2013 application, it came to light that NAI's employment model for its US-EU long-haul flights proposed to utilize pilots and cabin crews employed by non-European crew staffing companies with employment contracts based on Asian law. This was a highly controversial issue, as such practice would serve to circumvent the "high labor standards" afforded by Article 17 bis of the EU-US Air Transport Agreement. US carriers on US-EU routes would suffer tremendously unfair competitive conditions. After receiving widespread opposition, NAI's application has not been approved by the Department of Transportation to date.

NAUK's application, not surprisingly, is fashioned after that of NAI's. It is more likely by design than coincidence that NAUK now seeks an exemption and expedited treatment to avoid scrutiny of its pilot and cabin crew staffing plans by the Department of Transportation and US carriers and labor force. This gamesmanship should not be rewarded.

For these reasons, NAUK's application for an expedited foreign air carrier permit must be DENIED and any further action delayed until NAUK provides details on its pilot and cabin crew staffing plans.

By: SWAPA, Jon Weaks


January 19, 2016

Reply of Air France KLM

ln view of the fact that the request of NAUK's corporate affiliate Ireland-based Norwegian Air International for a foreign air carrier permit raised strong objections by different stakeholders regarding the impact on European and US airlines' competitiveness of its specific labor conditions, the labor parties raise in our opinion justifiable questions as to the employment conditions NAUK would be using.

However, both NAUK's filing on December 11, 2015 and its Consolidated Reply filed on January 11, 2016 fail in our view to comprehensively address these legitimate questions.

Statements by NAUK that the mere fact UK authorities have given a permit to NAUK shall be enough for US Department of Transportation granting such authority based on the principle of reciprocal recognition embodied in articles 4 and 6bis of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement should be considered also in the context of the applicability of article 17 bis of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement.

Given the history of applications by Norwegian affiliate carrier(s), Air France KLM respectfully submits that the questions on labor conditions of airline crew should be satisfactorily answered so as to allow the US Department of Transport to take an informed decision.

By: Air France KLM, Laurent Timsit


January 19, 2016

Reply of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

ln view of the fact that the request of NAUK's corporate affiliate Ireland-based Norwegian Air International for a foreign air carrier permit raised strong objections by different stakeholders regarding the impact on European and US airlines' competitiveness of its specific labor conditions, the labor parties raise in our opinion justifiable questions as to the employment conditions NAUK would be using.

However, both NAUK's filing on December 11, 2015 and its Consolidated Reply filed on January 11, 2016 fail in our view to comprehensively address these legitimate questions.

Statements by NAUK that the mere fact UK authorities have given a permit to NAUK shall be enough for US Department of Transportation granting such authority based on the principle of reciprocal recognition embodied in articles 4 and 6bis of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement should be considered also in the context of the applicability of article 17 bis of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement.

Given the history of applications by Norwegian affiliate carrier(s), Air France KLM respectfully submits that the questions on labor conditions of airline crew should be satisfactorily answered so as to allow the US Department of Transport to take an informed decision.

By: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Klaas-Jeroen Terwal


January 19, 2016

Consolidated Reply of Labor Parties

The record in the Norwegian International Air proceeding (OST-2013-0204) shows that NAI-- like NAUK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle -- was established with the intent of avoiding the application of Norwegian labor laws to NAI's long-haul pilots and flight attendants. NAUK has provided no information whatsoever in this docket about the employment terms that will apply to its long-haul pilots and flight attendants. A recent press report quotes a spokesperson of NAS as saying "[a]ll current and future employees in our operation at UK bases will have contracts governed by UK employment law." Kurt Hoffman, Unions reacts Norwegian UK applies for US flight permits, atwonline.com, and another states that "Norwegian's subsidiary Norwegian UK will be governed by UK and US labor laws." Norwegian Says NUK Fully Compliant With Labor Laws, Aviation Daily, January 8, 2016. But these reports notwithstanding, Norwegian is still using pilots and flight attendants on its long-haul flights who are employed on contracts under Singapore and Thai law and whose terms and conditions of employment undermine the labor standards and labor-related rights and principles contained in Norwegian and US laws.

NAS and NAUK may be intending to have the crewmembers who would operate NAUK's flights to the US covered by UK or US labor laws, but there is nothing in the record that commits NAUK to carrying out that asserted intent. The information and document production requests that the Labor Parties have asked DOT to issue are designed to elicit information that should permit the labor issues presented by NAUK' s application to be fully and fairly assessed and resolved. The Department should direct NAUK to respond to these requests promptly.

DOT should promptly issue the information requests attached to the December 28, 2015 and January 4, 2016 answers of the Labor Parties and allow interested persons a reasonable opportunity to comment on the information NAUK supplies in response to those requests before the Department decides how to proceed with NAUK's application.

By: TTD AFL-CIO, Edward Wytkind, 202-628-9262 / ALPA, Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 / TWU AFL-CIO, Alex Garcia, 202-719-3870 / AFA-CWA, Sara Nelson, 202-434-0574


 

January 27, 2016

Comments of London Gatwick Airport

We strongly support Norwegian UK’s application. The Open Skies agreement places an obligation on the Government of the United States to authorise traffic rights with minimum procedural delays and we understand normal processing times are around two months. We urge the US to honour its undertakings under the US-EU air traffic agreement.

Operating from Gatwick, Norwegian has proven to be an innovative and enterprising airline, operating a fleet of modern Boeing aircraft and building new routes from Gatwick. Their existing US routes include Gatwick to New York, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale and Puerto Rico, with Boston, Orlando and Oakland due to be added over the next couple of months. Their strong load factors on flights from Gatwick are clear evidence that their product is one appreciated by consumers on both sides of the Atlantic and one that helps build competition on routes where competition has been lacking in recent years. Norwegian’s operations and philosophy are in the best tradition of UK-US relations, based on free and open trade from both sides. We urge the US Government to not undermine this by succumbing to self-serving demands for protectionism from a number of interested parties.

By: Stewart Wingate



February 3, 2016

Ex-Parte Letter to Congressmen Albio Sires (NJ-8) and Chris Collins (NY-27)

By: Anthony Foxx

 


 

February 11, 2016

Support Letter of UK Director General for Civil Aviation

I am writing in support of Norwegian Air UK Limited's application to the US Department of Transportation, dated 11th December 2015, for authority/permission to conduct air services to/from the US as permitted by the EU-US Air Transport Agreement

I understand that NUK's application was made in full compliance with the DOT's application procedures and that, consequently, permission should be granted, "with minimum procedural delay" (Article 4 of the Agreement). However, I also understand that DOT have opened a public "Docket" regarding the application and that various interested parties have filed comments/submissions. Although DOT has granted authorisation to other EU carriers (on average, I gather, 53 days after applications were submitted), the DoT has not yet granted authorisation to NUK, who applied more than 60 days ago.

As you will appreciate, I am very keen to understand:

  • why the DOT has not yet made a decision about NUK's application, and
  • precisely what more, if anything, needs to happen before such a decision can be made.

Could you confirm please DOT's process and timeframe for concluding its consideration of NUK's application and for granting the exemption authority and the foreign air carrier permit that NUK seeks? Can you also confirm which DOT official has the final say?

By: Patricia Hayes


 

February 19, 2016

Ex-Parte Letter to Congressman Michael Capuano (MA-7)

By: Anthony Foxx


 

February 26, 2016

Comments of Labor Parites on UK Government Documents

The UK Government Documents provide some information about the employment circumstances of the NAUK aircrew. We appreciate the effort that the UK Government has made to gather and submit this information. The UK Government Documents also make a number of assertions about the employment circumstances at NAUK that, if true, would help address the concerns of the Labor Parties. Some of the assertions, however, appear to be inaccurate, incomplete or misleading.

The assertions set out in the UK Government Documents that the aircrew will (1) be based in the UK, (2) be employed on contracts with a U.K. company that will be governed by UK employment and social security laws, and (3) have the right to choose a representative for collective bargaining purposes, lay out the core elements of an employment framework that could well address the Labor Parties’ concerns. But the discrepancies between these assertions and what appear to be the actual circumstances applicable to the employment of NAUK’s aircrew show why it must be NAUK and/or its parent NAS that states on the record what the employment structure will be for the pilots and flight attendants who will work on board the aircraft that NAUK uses in any services to the US The Department should have NAS/NAUK’s commitment that the assertions are accurate.

Counsel: Transportation Trades Department, Edward Wytkind, 202-628-9262 / ALPA, Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 / Transport Workes Union of America, Alex Garcia, 202-719-3870 / Association of Flight Attendanta, Sara Nelson, 202-434-0574 / International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Sito Pantoja, 301-967-4596 / European Cockpit Association, Philip von Schoppenthau, 32-2-705-3293


 

March 2, 2016

Ex-Parte Letter to Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-4)

By: Anthony Foxx


 

OST-2013-0204 - Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - EU/Iceland/Norway-US Scheduled Passenger
OST-2015-0261
- Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger


June 28, 2016

Motion of Labor Parties for Leave to File Newly-Available Information

The Labor Parties move, under Section 302.6 of the Department’s Rules of Practice, for leave to file newly-available information. The newly-available information is set forth in the attached article “Setting the record straight on Norwegian Air and the US-EU Open Skies Agreement,” in which former Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari states his views on the applicability of Article 17 bis to the application of Norwegian Air International for a foreign air carrier permit. There is good cause to grant this motion because the article was not available until yesterday afternoon and because Mr. Porcari’s views bear directly on the central issue in these proceedings: whether approval of the applications of NAI and Norwegian Air UK Limited would be consistent with the terms of the US-EU Air Transport Agreement.

In the article, former Deputy Secretary Porcari states that approval of NAI’s application would not be consistent with the terms of the ATA. In his words:

  • “[S]ome basic facts about [the ATA] and the applicability of its provisions have been twisted beyond recognition in the pending case. . . .”
  • “[I]f approved, [NAI’s] highly unusual application guts the core of the ATA’s labor provision. . . .”
  • Article 17 bis “unambiguously sets out a clear commitment to protect against air services that ‘undermine labor standards or the labor-related rights and principles contained in the Parties’ respective laws.’”
  • The “USDOT Show Cause Order . . . does not refute the legitimate concerns being expressed by U.S. and European flight crew unions, but sidesteps the issue by declaring that those concerns are not a basis for denial of NAI’s or any other permit application.”
  • “[A] decision whether or not to grant operating authority based on compliance with Article 17 is at the heart of implementation of the ATA.”

Former Deputy Secretary Porcari’s understanding of the intent and meaning of Article 17 bis is consistent with the terms of the article. As we have shown throughout these proceedings, including in our May 16, 2016 Objections to DOT’s Order to Show Cause in the NAI proceeding, that article directs the Parties to implement the Agreement in a manner that does not contribute to the undermining of labor standards. As Mr. Porcari states in the article “[t]his administration should be justifiably proud that appropriate labor provisions were negotiated into [the ATA]” and that DOT should “use them for their intended purpose.”

By: TTD AFL-CIO, Edward Wytkind, 202-628-9262 / ALPA, Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 / TWU AFL-CIO, Alex Garcia, 202-719-3870 / AFA-CWA, Sara Nelson, 202-434-0574




June 28, 2016

Motion of Labor Parties to Defer Action on Application

NAUK’s December 11, 2015 application for an exemption and a foreign air carrier permit cites the US-EU Air Transport Agreement as the basis for its requested operating authorizations. On June 23, 2016 a majority of UK voters voted “Leave the European Union” on a referendum question asking “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” In response to this vote, the foreign ministers of the six founding members – Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy and the Netherlands – urged the UK to initiate the formal exit process as soon as possible. “European Leaders Tell a Dazed Great Britain to Get Going on ‘Brexit.’” NEW YORK TIMES, June 25, 2016.

The timing of the exit process is uncertain. However, once the exit is completed, the UK will not be a Member State of the EU and thus not a party to the ATA. Also uncertain is the regulatory regime that will apply to air service rights of UK carriers. Because the ATA has not formally come into effect, the Consolidated Air Service Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of July 23, 1977 and other associated texts are suspended and could regain their effectiveness. If Bermuda II were to become effective, it contains a designation clause that would require that substantial ownership and effective control be vested in the contracting party designating the airline or in its nationals. Given that NAUK is wholly-owned by Norwegian Air Shuttle, a citizen of Norway, NAUK would not qualify for designation.

A myriad of other negotiated outcomes are also possible, but it is unknown whether NAUK, as currently structured, would qualify under any of them to be granted operating authorizations by the United States.

By: TTD AFL-CIO, Edward Wytkind, 202-628-9262 / ALPA, Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 / TWU AFL-CIO, Alex Garcia, 202-719-3870 / AFA-CWA, Sara Nelson, 202-434-0574


 

June 29, 2016

Answer of Norwegian Air UK

Norwegian Air UK Limited hereby files this answer in response to the recent motion of certain labor organizations to defer action on the application of NUK for an exemption and foreign carrier permit based on a recent UK referendum vote in favor of the UK leaving the European Union, also referred to as Brexit.

NUK strongly opposes the motion as it is highly speculative, premature and presents no new facts relevant to the Department’s upcoming decision. NUK urges the Department to issue the exemption and foreign air carrier permit without further delay. Approval of the motion would place the United States in violation of its international obligation under Article 4 of the Open Skies Agreement to grant authorization “with minimum procedural delay.”

As the Department is well aware, the recent Brexit vote only initiated a lengthy negotiated process for the UK’s exit from the European Union. In the meantime, the current Open Skies Agreement continues to apply. Moreover, the action requested by the Labor Parties would be directly contrary to the stated position of the U.S. Government with respect to Brexit, that the vote recommending withdrawal from the EU has not, and will not, change the US-UK special relationship. The Department must grant the NUK application based on its current and very clear international treaty obligations in place today – rather than the warped crystal ball haze conjured up by the Labor Parties.

It would be wholly inappropriate for the Labor Parties – or the Department – to speculate on the outcome of those negotiations, which may or may not result in changes to the terms of the Open Skies Agreement. To do otherwise would seriously impact aviation relations with the UK government and could result in significant and unintended consequences for other UK and US carriers in each country.

NUK has met all requirements under the Open Skies Agreement for issuance of an exemption and permit, and urges the Department to reject the most recent and desperate attempt by the Labor Parties to derail the process and to expeditiously issue NUK’s authority to begin serving the US. Accordingly, NUK will have no further comments regarding this issue.

Counsel: Pillsbury Winthrop, Josh Romanow, 202-663-8000


 

Order 2016-6-22
OST-2015-0261
- Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger

Issued and Served June 30, 2016

Order Dismissing Exemption

By this order we dismiss on procedural grounds the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited for an exemption under 49 USC § 40109 for the reasons discussed below. The substantive issues involved in Norwegian UK’s application for authority will be considered in the context of its request for a foreign air carrier permit under 49 USC § 41301.

The Department has decided to dismiss Norwegian UK’s application for exemption authority. As we have previously stated, the Department typically reserves its exemption powers in awarding foreign air carrier authority to situations where the circumstances of a case are sufficiently clear-cut to permit acting, at least for a limited term, without the additional procedural protections of show-cause procedures and § 41307 review. The parties opposing the Norwegian UK application have raised a number of significant issues, in many instances directly overlapping the types of issues before us in the still pending proceeding involving the permit application of Norwegian Air International Limited. The Department has already characterized those issues as novel and complex in the NAI context, and it reaches the same conclusion as to the present proceeding. In these circumstances, the Department does not find that grant of a temporary exemption to Norwegian UK is appropriate or in the public interest. Accordingly, the Department is dismissing Norwegian UK’s request for an exemption while it continues to review the applicant’s permit application.

By: Jenny Rosenberg




OST-2013-0204 - Norwegian Air Int'l - EU/Iceland/Norway-US Scheduled Passenger
OST-2015-0261
- Norwegian Air UK - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger

July 25, 2016

Comments of EU Commissioner for Transport

DOT's dismissal of Norwegian UK's request for exemption authority issued on 30 June raised serious concerns on our side. In addition, more than three months after the issue of the show cause order on NAI, there is neither a final decision on the case nor an indication of any timeframe for concluding the process.

I find it regrettable that this is the outcome after more than two years of deliberations and despite the patience and the goodwill that the EU has shown. I have initiated the decision to formally request arbitration on this matter. I expect it to be notified to the US side in the coming weeks.

But I am also concerned, as some of my colleagues, about the consequences that this matter could have, not only in our aviation relations, but in the overall economic and trade transatlantic agenda. At a time where closer bilateral ties are being put into question by many sectors of our societies, we should carefully consider the implications that this long and protracted dispute could have, for example, in the TTIP negotiations alter both sides legal teams share the assessment of the case.

By: Violeta Bulc


 

OST-2013-0204 - Norwegian Air Int'l - EU/Iceland/Norway-US Scheduled Passenger
OST-2015-0261
- Norwegian Air UK - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger

July 28, 2016

Re: Peter DeFazio Letter to EU Commissioner for Transport

Norwegian Air International is "Norwegian" in name only, having procured an air operator certificate from a heretofore-uninvolved third country. As you know, Norwegian bases manycrewmembers
operating transatlantic services in Bangkok. These outsourced crews are hired on contracts governed by Singapore law. In fact, although most if not all of Norwegian's pilots live in Europe, in order to join
Norwegian's workforce, they must contract with a "crew leasing specialist" in Singapore and abide by terms governed under Singapore law. If Norwegian were a US. carrier, these practices would not be acceptable under US. airline labor laws, and I am confident they are not acceptable under the laws of Norway. They certainly are not consistent with the fair labor principles of the European Union referenced in article 17 bis of the Open Skies agreement.

With respect to Norwegian Air UK, it is far from clear that the company will not utilize crewing arrangements similar to those adopted by Norwegian Air International. I have urged Secretary Foxx not to make a decision on Norwegian Air UK's application until the company fully discloses the terms and conditions of its pilots' and flight attendants' employment.

By: Peter DeFazio


 

November 3, 2016

Notice of Meeting

Pursuant to a request made by the European Union, delegations representing the United States and the European Union and its Member States, held a special meeting of the US-EU Joint Committee via teleconference on September 14, 2016. The delegations briefly discussed the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited pending before the U.S. Department of Transportation for US operating authority. The European delegation recalled the history of the handling of the application by the DOT, and stated its belief that the handling of the application was inconsistent with the “minimum procedural delay requirement in Article 4” of the US-EU Air Transport Agreement.

The US delegation noted that the application continues to be the subject of active consideration by the DOT, that the application presents novel and complex issues, and that a range of different parties have participated in the proceeding raising substantive legal and regulatory points both in favor of and opposed to NUK’s application. In response to a question from the European delegation regarding the timing of the DOT review process, the US delegation did not provide any deadline or estimated date for further DOT action on the application, noting that it would be inappropriate to speculate on a pending regulatory matter.

The European delegation stated its view that these circumstances represent a breach of the ATA and constitute a dispute between the parties that is not resolved by a meeting of the Joint Committee.

By: Brian Hedberg


 

December 21, 2016

Motion for Leave to File and Expedited Treatment and Contingent Application for Exemption

It has been more than one year since Norwegian UK submitted its application for a foreign air carrier permit, and nearly six months since the Department dismissed Norwegian UK’s application for exemption authority. The Department based its dismissal upon a number of issues raised by opposing parties that were also pending before the Department in the Norwegian Air International Limited proceeding for a foreign air carrier permit. On November 30, 2016, the Department issued a final order granting Norwegian International its foreign air carrier permit. In light of this Final Order resolving all issues outstanding in the Norwegian International case, the Department should issue Norwegian UK the authority to operate to the US without delay and in accordance with the US-EU Air Transport Agreement.

The Department’s General Counsel, the US Department of State, and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel all made clear that the Article 17 bis arguments raised by the Opponents could not be used as a legal basis for denying the application. The State Department made clear that “granting the applications submitted by NAI and NUK, subject only to standard permit applications, is in the foreign policy interests of the United States.” Furthermore, the European Union raised serious concern over the Department’s dismissal of Norwegian UK’s request for exemption authority in its July 22, 2016 letter. Similarly, the UK Director General for Civil Aviation sent a letter to the Department over 10 months ago, urging the Department to grant Norwegian UK authority with minimum procedural delay in accordance with the United States’ obligations under Article 4 of the US-EU Air Transport Agreement. Further delays in approving Norwegian UK’s application, especially after the Department’s Final Order, would engender further concern by, and pointless conflict with, the European Union and the United Kingdom – just weeks after the European Commission initiated arbitration with respect to the unprecedented delays in the Norwegian International proceeding.

Norwegian UK intends to begin services from the United Kingdom to the United States and other global destinations during Summer 2017. Given the advance time needed for ticket sales and marketing prior to the commencement of operations, it would cause tangible and immediate harm to Norwegian UK and to American and European travelers to delay approval of this application any further.

If the Department is not prepared to immediately issue a show cause order proposing to grant Norwegian UK’s foreign air carrier permit, Norwegian UK respectfully requests prompt issuance of a two-year exemption authorizing it to engage in scheduled and charter foreign air transportation to the full extent requested in its pending permit application.

Counsel: Pillsbury Winthrop, Josh Romanow, 202-663-8000


 

December 23, 2016

Answer of Federal Express

The Department’s recent approval of the foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air International Limited was most welcome. That approval was also appropriate and lawful under US law and under the US-European Union Air Services Agreement. A similar action to swiftly approve the pending application for a permit by NUK would similarly be appropriate and lawful.

Despite this apparently obvious conclusion, the so-called “open skies debate” is still being waged in these dockets and in the broader aviation community. Since it appears that the policy – and the agreements based on it – still must be defended from those seeking to roll back a pro-competition, pro-consumer policy under the misleading guise of “protecting US jobs,” FedEx files this Answer in support of NUK’s request for an expedited final decision, or in the alternative, NUK’s renewed request for exemption authority.

FedEx urges the Department to grant NUK’s motion for expedited treatment, rather than prolong the inevitable conclusion to this saga. This is not an issue that should be postponed for another time, but should be concluded in accordance with existing US treaty obligations consistent with the extensive legal interpretations already in the record.

There is no basis in this record on which the Department can reject the NUK application. The Department essentially acknowledged this point in its Final Order regarding NUK’s sister company, NAI, where the same counter-arguments were advanced. Further delay will adversely affect the relationship between the US and the EU and continue to disrupt the smooth operation of the US-EU Open Skies Agreement. FedEx would be greatly concerned if the EU were forced to file another demand for arbitration relating to the same arguments.

FedEx is not intervening in this matter to support a particular carrier, but to underscore our unequivocal support of the US-EU Open Skies Agreement. This Agreement’s main purpose was to encourage diverse market offerings and to get government out of the business of limiting what consumers choose. Additionally, in the case of market entry filings, the US-EU Open Skies Agreement eliminated unnecessary and burdensome regulation, a goal which all US carriers have advanced since deregulation in 1977. NUK’s compliance with the requirements of the US the United Kingdom, and with those laid out in the US-EU Open Skies Agreement should require the Department to advance NUK’s application to finality without further delay.

Counsel: FedEx, Courtney Felts, 901-434-8632


 

December 30, 2016

Answer of Atlas Air

In one respect, Calendar Year 2016 is ending much as it started: with a UK air carrier, Norwegian Air UK Limited, still awaiting route authority to which it is entitled under US-EU air services agreement. On January 4, 2016, Atlas Air, Inc. answered in support of Norwegian UK's then-pending application, and it reiterates that support now in this answer to the UK carrier's December 21, 2016 motion for expedited treatment and contingent application for an exemption.

On the merits, the only thing that has changed is that the Department has issued Order 2016-11-22, definitively rejecting the assertion that Article 17 bis of the US-EU agreement controls the matters at hand. As Norwegian UK has stated, its application meets applicable legal criteria, satisfies the public interest standard and will bring welcome new services to consumers. The Department therefore should promptly award Norwegian UK the authority it is seeking.

Counsel: Atlas Air, Russell Pommer, 202-822-9121


 

January 3, 2017

Answer of the Labor Parties to Norwegian Air UK's Request for Expedited Processing

The undersigned labor organizations do not oppose the request of Norwegian Air UK Limited for "expedited processing ... for a foreign air carrier permit" via the immediate issuance of an order to show cause. For the reasons we have previously stated in this docket, and in Docket OST-2013-0204 involving NAUK's corporate affiliate Norwegian Air International, however, the Department should propose to deny Norwegian Air UK's application unless NAUK commits to ensure that the pilots and flight attendants who will operate its transatlantic flights will be based in the United Kingdom or the US and will be employed by UK or US employers on contracts governed by UK or US law. As it stands, NAUK's application raises serious questions about whether its business plan is consistent with the requirements for issuance of a foreign air carrier permit set out in the aviation statutes (49 USC § 41302) and with Article 17 bis of the US-EU Air Transport Agreement. Because of these concerns, the Labor Parties have asked DOT to seek additional information from NAUK in order to clarify the carrier's staffing plans for its services to the US.

The issuance of an Order to Show Cause will allow interested persons to have an opportunity to comment on the Department's tentative findings before the Department moves to a final order in this case.

Counsel: Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO, Edward Wytkind, 202-628-9262 / European Cockpit Association, Philip Von Schoeppenthau, 32-2-705-3293 / International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Sito Pantoja, 301-967-4596 / Air Line Pilots Association, Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 / Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Sara Nelson, 202-434-0574 / Transportation Workers Union of America AFL-CIO, Alex Garcia, 202-719-3870

 


January 3, 2017

Answer of Gatwick Airport Limited in Support of Norwegian Air UK

GAL were happy to see the Final Order 2016-11-22, dated November 30, 2016 and served December 2, 2016 from the US Department of Transport confirming the approval of the foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air International Limited emphasising that all concerns have been fully addressed by Norwegian. We are writing to express our strong support for the expedited approval of Norwegian UK’s application for an exemption and foreign air carrier permit.

The US-EU Open Skies agreement places an obligation on the Government of the United States to authorise traffic rights with minimum procedural delay. Norwegian has its largest base outside of Scandinavia at Gatwick and employs 800 people in the UK and 300 in the US. Norwegian’s base at Gatwick includes a significant proportion of its long haul aircraft and they follow the same UK, European and global laws and practices as other operators here. We see no reason for the US Government to delay the processing of this application further.

By: Guy Stephenson, 44-0-1293-502-003




January 4, 2017

Answer of Business Travel Coalition in Support of Norwegian Air UK

Business Travel Coalition and its OpenSkies.travel organization file this answer in support of the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited for an exemption and foreign air carrier permit.

When the Department provided approval for NAI on November 30, it took a firm stand in support of competition, consumers and the national interest and upheld the reputation of the US as a reliable Open Skies partner. The Department now needs to do the same for the Norwegian UK application without delay.

By: Kevin Mitchell, 610-999-9247




January 4, 2017

Answer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority to Motion of Norwegian Air UK

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority has been a longstanding supporter of the foreign air carrier permit applications of both Norwegian Air International Limited and Norwegian Air UK Limited. At a time transatlantic market share increasingly is concentrated in the hands of a few immunized alliances and joint ventures, consumers deserve greater competitive choice. Moreover, communities like Orlando that are not an alliance hub deserve the opportunity to be chosen as a non-stop destination in their own right by NAI and Norwegian UK rather than remain simply a feeder spoke for one-stop journeys on alliance carriers.

It now is time to approve the long pending Norwegian UK application and thereby remove the other source of tension in the US-Europe aviation relationship. With the Department's December 2, 2016 decision, the Departments of Transportation and State, as well as the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, stand shoulder-to-shoulder in agreement that Article 17 bis of the US-EU Open Skies agreement fails completely as a basis for further delay. Accordingly, the Department should immediately award Norwegian UK the authority it is seeking and is entitle to receive.

By: Phillip Brown, 407-825-7445




January 4, 2017

Answer of US Travel Association in Support of Norwegian Air UK

The US Travel Association, a national non-profit representing all aspects of the American travel industry, supports the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited for an exemption and foreign air carrier permit, which was submitted to the Department of Transportation on December 11, 2015. The recent approval of Norwegian Air International’s application late last year should pave the way for swift approval of Norwegian UK’s application.

Due to the substantial public benefits Norwegian UK will deliver to the US and the carrier’s adherence to the letter and spirit of the Open Skies Agreements, US Travel Association encourages the Department of Transportation to approve the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited in a timely manner.

By: Roger Dow, 202-408-8422

 

January 5, 2017

Answer of ACI Europe (The European Region of the Airports International) in Support of Norwegian Air UK

On 3 December 2016, the Department of Transportation finalized approval for Norwegian Air International- Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary- three years after the airline first applied for a foreign permit under the EU-US Agreement. The DoT recognized that all the concerns raised by stakeholders regarding the Irish registered Company had been fully addressed by the US Services.

Based on the same grounds and same characteristics, the request of Norwegian UK for a foreign permit equally meets all the requirements under the EU-US Open Skies Agreement for issuance of an exemption. Furthermore, the Department of Transportation, the State Department and the Department of Justice concluded that approval is warranted under the EU-US Agreement.

ACI EUROPE believes that the issuing of a foreign carrier permit to Norwegian UK by the Department of Transportation is fully in line with both the 2008 EU-US Open Skies Agreement and the department ‘s own streamlined procedures - as already recognized in the case of Norwegian Air International – and therefore asks for an approval with minimum procedural delay.

By: Olivier Jankovec, 0032-2-552-09-72




January 5, 2017

Answer of Denver International Airport to Motion of Norwegian Air UK

Europe ranks as Denver's largest passenger market by region. Due to the importance of the Denver-Europe air service market, we have closely monitored debate on the foreign air carrier permit applications of both Norwegian Air International Limited and Norwegian Air UK Limited with great interest. At the same time, that debate has caused us increasing concern as the long -pending status of those applications has fueled growing tension in the critical US-Europe aviation relationship, including the European Commission taking the unprecedented step of initiating formal arbitration under the US-EU Open Skies agreement with respect to the unprecedented delay in granting authorization to NAI.

The Department's December 2, 2016 Final Order granted NAI's request for a foreign air carrier permit and rejected objections identical to those presented by opponents of Norwegian UK. We thus believe the Department must now expeditiously make a final decision, as Norwegian UK has requested. A decision "with minimum procedural delay" is needed to comply with Article 4 of the Open Skies agreement, will avoid further damage to the US-Europe aviation relationship, and is appropriate in light of the December 2, 2016 NAI Final Order.

By: Kim Day, 303-342-2206




January 5, 2017

Answer of the Travel Technology Association in Support of Norwegian Air UK

Travel Tech’s members are the world’s leaders in booking and managing domestic and international travel, and we fully support increased competition from low-cost carriers such as NAI and NUK. American consumers are desperate for more affordable flight options to destinations throughout the United States and around the world. The offering of new and expanded service between the US and Europe by NUK would be welcomed by consumers and a net positive to the overall air travel marketplace.

We urge the Department to uphold and maintain the spirit and intent of the US-EU Open Skies Agreement by approving NUK’s application to provide service to the United States without delay.

By: Stephen Shur, 703-842-3754


 

January 13, 2017

Reply of Norwegian Air UK

All parties support Norwegian UK’s request for expedited review of its motion and exemption application and prompt issuance of a show cause order. The Opponents, however, contend Norwegian UK’s request for an exemption does not meet the public interest criterion for granting such authority. The Opponents’ position is plainly contrary to US law and well-established precedent.

First, the dismissal of Norwegian UK’s prior exemption application was on procedural grounds due solely to the overlap of issues pending in the Norwegian Air International proceeding. The Department resolved those issues over a month ago in favor of Norwegian Air International, concluding the Opponents’ arguments were untenable. There is no justification for deciding the identical issues in this proceeding differently.

Second, contrary to the Opponents’ claims, issuance of exemption authority is clearly consistent with the public interest and satisfies multiple statutory public interest criteria. Norwegian UK will offer the traveling public competitive, low-priced fares with award-winning service that will promote competition among airlines and increased service to previously underserved markets. Of equal – if not greater – importance, Congress has stated that if service is proposed under the terms of a bilateral agreement, there is a “virtually unrebuttable presumption that grant of the application is in the public interest.” The State Department has also concluded that grant of Norwegian UK’s application is “in the foreign policy interests of the United States.” In contrast, the Opponents cite only two factors – without Department or other precedent in support of their position – while wholly ignoring the many other public interest factors identified by 49 USC § 40101(a) that weigh heavily in Norwegian UK’s favor.

Finally, the prompt grant of an exemption is especially in the public interest in light of (i) the already lengthy pendency for over a year of Norwegian UK’s application, (ii) the United States’ obligation under Article 4 of the US-EU Air Transport Agreement to grant authorization “with minimum procedural delay” and (iii) the Department’s statutory obligation to “act consistently with obligations of the United States Government under an international agreement.”

Norwegian UK has a window of opportunity to launch its innovative service from the UK to the US and several worldwide markets for the Summer 2017 season, but such opportunity requires immediate action by the Department. There is no procedural or substantive reason for the Department to delay or withhold approval of Norwegian UK’s application. Given the United States’ clear legal obligation to grant authorization “with minimum procedural delay,” we urge the Department to immediately issue Norwegian UK exemption authority. Coupling such an exemption with an order to show cause to grant a foreign air carrier permit to Norwegian UK would conform to the treatment properly accorded other EU airlines and is fully merited in this case.

Counsel: Pillsbury Winthrop, Josh Romanow, 202-663-8000


 

Order 2017-7-6
OST-2015-0261
- Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger

Issued and Served July 14, 2017

Order to Show Cause

The Department has tentatively decided to grant the applicant a foreign air carrier permit. In reaching our tentative decision, the Department finds that the applicant has demonstrated, based on the record, that it is financially and operationally fit to perform the services authorized; and that the applicant is substantially owned and effectively controlled by citizens of Member States of the European Union, consistent with the provisions of the US-EU Agreement. We also tentatively find that the authority sought by the applicant is encompassed by the US-EU Agreement.

With respect to the opposition raised against Norwegian UK’s permit request, the parties opposing the application rely on two fundamental arguments. First, they assert that for the Department to approve the application, it must be able to find that grant of the application is consistent with the US-EU Agreement. To make such a finding here, they contend that the Department must find that Norwegian UK’s labor practices comply with Article 17 bis of the US-EU Agreement. The opponents claim that, absent the additional information that they have sought from Norwegian UK, and which Norwegian UK has not provided, the Department lacks an adequate basis to address the Article 17 bis issue, and thus cannot make an affirmative finding of consistency with the US-EU Agreement. Second, the opponents assert that, for the Department to approve the application, it must be able to find that grant of the application is consistent with the public interest, specifically with the public interest elements of “encouraging fair wages and working conditions” and “strengthening the competitive position of [US] air carriers to at least insure equality with foreign air carriers,” set forth in 49 USC §40101. They say that, absent the additional information they have sought from Norwegian UK, and that Norwegian UK has not provided, the Department lacks a sufficient record to make an adequate public interest determination, and thus cannot approve the permit request.

These two arguments echo the two primary assertions made by essentially the same opposing parties in the context of their objections in the aforementioned NAI licensing proceeding. The Department has already thoroughly considered, and rejected, these arguments. We tentatively see no persuasive basis on the record of the present proceeding to reach a different conclusion here. We further tentatively find that, in light of the applicable decisional parameters, we have an adequate record for decision without the need for the applicant to provide any additional information regarding its business plan and labor practices.

With respect to the assertions of the Labor Parties that the UK Brexit vote should be dispositive, we note first that the US-EU Agreement remains in force and continues to govern aviation relations between the United States and the United Kingdom. Second, the United States and the United Kingdom have informally expressed the need for a seamless transfer of liberal, bilateral air transportation rights so as to avoid any disruption of services in the important US-UK market. Therefore, we tentatively do not see Brexit as an impediment to Department action on the Norwegian UK application. Against this background and in the circumstances presented, we have tentatively decided to grant the request of Norwegian UK for a foreign air carrier permit.

In reaching this tentative decision to grant Norwegian UK’s permit, we have taken into account the commitments made in the NAI docket by Mr. Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle (parent company of both NAI and Norwegian UK) with respect to hiring and employment practices offered as a direct result of issues raised in that proceeding. Similar issues have been raised in this proceeding. In the event that we finalize our present tentative grant of permit authority, we anticipate that those previous commitments will be implemented as to Norwegian UK, consistently with applicable law.

With respect to the applicant’s request for a foreign air carrier permit in this proceeding, we direct all interested persons to show cause why our tentative decision granting that application, as set forth above, should not be made final. Any interested person objecting to the issuance of an order making final our tentative findings and conclusions with respect to the applicant’s request for a foreign air carrier permit shall, no later than twenty-one calendar days after the date of service of this order, file with the Department.

By: Susan McDermott


 

July 19, 2017

Comments of Gatwick Airport in Support of Order to Show Cause

From March 2018 Norwegian is planning to be operating 10 long haul aircraft from London Gatwick, offering up to 7 daily departures to 10 US gateways, carrying 1.2 million passengers per annum to and from the US. The number of US points increases when the UK as a whole is taken into account.

Approval of the foreign carrier permit for Norwegian Air UK is essential to Norwegian’s very existence as a long haul carrier at London Gatwick, and also to the future use of a new £100 million maintenance base to be constructed by Boeing at London Gatwick, primarily to serve a signed Norwegian Goldcare maintenance contract.

Norwegian Air UK has been waiting for approval for its foreign carrier permit for well over 1 year. While we welcome the tentative approval, the usual period of time for granting of such permits is 6 weeks. The final decision is way beyond time for no apparent reason, and is now causing Norwegian to put potentially drastic contingency measures in place due the uncertainty caused by this unnecessary and unacceptable delay.

Norwegian Air UK is legally entitled to this permit and the US DoT’s failure to issue the permit is a breach of its obligations under international treaties. It is clear that there is no substance to the objections being made to the approval of this permit, and therefore the issue can now only be procedural. That being the case, we would ask that the Final Order be expedited by the end of August 2017 to put a formal and final end to the uncertainty which is jeopardising Norwegian’s entire long haul operation at London Gatwick, as well as significantly harming the commercial interests of both businesses, sustaining and growing lawful employment, and building business and tourism links between our two countries.

By: Guy Stephenson, 07989 117616

 

 

July 27, 2017

Comments of Airports Council International - Europe

APOYO AEREO, S.A. de C.V. hereby applies for renewal of its exemption from 49 USC 40301 which authorizes APOYO to engage in charter foreign air transportation of persons and their accompanying baggage with small aircraft between the United States and Mexico, and, subject to prior Department approval between other countries and the United States. APOYO also requests renewal of its relief from the requirement to obtain advance approval for each Mexico-US flight and stopover privileges. The Department granted the above authority to APOYO by Notice of Action Taken dated September 4, 2015, APOYO requests that this authority, which is scheduled to expire on September 4, 2017, be renewed for a period of at least two years.

By: ACI-Europe, Olivier Jankovec, 32-0-2-552-09-72

 

July 25, 2017

Comments of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport supports the US Department of Transportation’s tentative approval of the application of Norwegian Air UK for a foreign air carrier permit. ABIA encourages the Department to move quickly to issue final approval.

It is apparent DOT weighed many factors when considering the application of NAUK, and we are confident the Department appropriately undertook a measured and deliberate approach in reaching its tentative decision to approve the application. As such, ABIA encourages the Department to move expeditiously to finalize its consideration of NAUK’s application and issue final approval for the carrier’s foreign air carrier permit.

By: Jim Smith




July 28, 2017

Comments of Travel Technology Association

The Travel Technology Association is pleased to see the US Department of Transportation grant tentative approval to Norwegian Air UK Limited’s application for an exemption under 49 USC § 40109 and a foreign air carrier permit under 49 USC § 41301. Travel Tech is already on record at the Department in support of NUK’s original application (Docket OST-2015-0261) to provide service to the United States, and we write today to urge the Department to grant final approval without further delay.

By: Steve Shur

 

July 26, 2017

Comments of Orange County, New York Executive in Support of Order to Show Cause

Prior to my serving as Orange County Executive, I served on the Stewait Airport Advisory Board. At that time, all of us longed for an airline like Norwegian to come to our small airpmt and help put it "on the map." Orange County itself is a great place to live and work, however transit options have always been a challenge. While JetBlue and other carriers have helped sustain Stewart during the leanest of times, Norwegian has pumped economic vitality into the airport and excitement into the community. For these reasons, I respectfully urge the DOT and the FAA to support Norwegian's application.

By: Steven Neuhaus




July 27, 2017

Comments of Port of Oakland in Support of Order to Show Cause

Norwegian's operations at OAK have contributed significantly to the growth in international passenger traffic at our airport, which is supporting local infrastructure growth and investment through the expansion and modernization of our international arrivals facility. Most importantly, the residents of the region are able to travel affordably to an expanded menu of international destinations that were in many cases underserved - or unserved entirely - from the Bay Area. This has also spurred competition in the aviation marketplace on several of these routes, which serves to benefit our local residents through an increased array of travel options that can best meet their individual needs.

Norwegian remains a valued partner of OAK and the San Francisco Bay Area, and we respectfully request that their application for a foreign air carrier permit be approved.

By: Bryant Francis


 

July 31, 2017

Comments of Norwegian Air UK to Order to Show Cause

Approval of Norwegian UK’s application is critical to Norwegian’s plans to expand its global network with maximum efficiency and optimal fleet utilization. The already lengthy delay in this proceeding - almost ten times the average for EU carriers - has created operational and financial challenges for Norwegian, hindered cost-effective growth, and denied consumers the low fares, new routes, and affordable travel that are Norwegian’s hallmark. Norwegian has only been able to work around this roadblock by offering its UK-US routes through its Irish and Norwegian affiliates. Approval of a foreign air carrier permit will allow Norwegian UK, a UK carrier, to serve its home market and open new unserved routes, increase competition and bring new low-cost, high quality service to the transatlantic market and beyond. Norwegian UK’s US operations will strengthen ties across the Atlantic and be a boost to the national and local economies in the US. All these benefits have also been expressed to the Department by Norwegian UK’s many supporters, which have expressed their support in the docket.

Counsel: Pillsbury Law, Josh Romanow, 202-663-8000




July 31, 2017

Comments of Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in Support of Order to Show Cause

GOAA has been a longstanding supporter of the foreign air carrier permit applications of both Norwegian Air International Limited and Norwegian UK. At a time transatlantic market share increasingly is concentrated in the hands of a few immunized alliances and joint ventures, consumers deserve greater competitive choice. Communities like Orlando that are not an alliance fortress hub deserve the opportunity to be chosen as a non-stop destination in their own right by NAI and Norwegian UK rather than remain simply a feeder spoke for one- or multi-stop journeys on alliance carriers.

Central Florida already is benefitting from Norwegian Air Shuttle service between Orlando International and Oslo, Norway, London Gatwick, Copenhagen, Denmark and Paris Charles de Gaulle. With the grant of a permit to NAI in December 2016 and the tentative approval of a permit for Norwegian UK, GOAA is hopeful it will have the opportunity to welcome further expansion of Norwegian’s award-winning service linking Orlando to additional cities. Norwegian’s low fares have stimulated the market, making possible visits to Central Florida that more expensive service over alliance hubs could never achieve.

By: Phillip Brown, 407-825-7445


 

August 3, 2017

Comments of Broward County Aviation Department in Support of the Department of Transportation's Order to Show Cause

The Broward County Aviation Department files this comment in support of the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited for an exemption and foreign air carrier permit On November 29, 2013, Norwegian began non-stop service from Scandinavia to Fort Lauderdale International Airport with twice each weekly service from Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm, Sweden. Norwegian began service to London, England on July 4, 2014; and Paris, France on August 4, 2016. Norwegian plans to begin service to Barcelona, Spain on August 22, 2017. Norwegian currently provides the only non-stop transatlantic service from Scandinavia and Paris to FLL and will be the only non-stop service from Barcelona when the service commences in August 2017.

The Department should expedite issuance of a Final Order approving Norwegian UK's application for a foreign air carrier permit in order to provide international travelers with competitive, low cost air transportation to FLL, and to encourage tourism and economic growth to the region.

By: Mark Gale, 954-359-6199




August 3, 2017

Comments of Ryanair in Support of the Department's Order to Show Cause

Ryanair welcomes Norwegian Air UK Limited’s application to operate transatlantic routes to the United States, which will result in increased competition and customer choice and a better service and lower fares to both American and European consumers in this market. We are alarmed by reports certain interest groups in the US will attempt to stifle this competition in an ill-advised attempt to protect the incumbent airlines on the transatlantic market at the expense of consumers.

Counsel: Ryanair, Juliusz Komorek, 353-1-945-1212

 

August 3, 2017

Comments of Denver International Airport in Support of the Department's Order to Show Cause

Denver International Airport supports the Department's decision tentatively approving the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited for a foreign air carrier permit under 49 USC Section 40109. DEN urges the Department to swiftly make that decision final.

DEN has been pleased to welcome both London/Gatwick and Paris/Charles De Gaulle service provided by Norwegian Air Shuttle, both airports that were previously unserved from Denver prior to Norwegian's announcement of service initiation. Our passengers and community are very excited about this development. DEN is hopeful that the grant of a permit to NAI in December 2016 and the tentative approval of a permit for Norwegian UK will enable Norwegian's Denver-Europe service to further expand to additional cities.

By: Kim Day, 303-342-2206




August 3, 2017

Comments of Maryland Department of Transportation

We believe that the authorization sought by Norweg ian Air UK will benefit the passengers traveling to and from BWI Marshall Airport by providing increased travel choices, greater service options and competitive fares. Norwegian's low fare transatlantic service continues to stimulate demand and bring Europeans to the United States, creating significant additional economic activity. As BWI Marshall Airport continues to thrive and remains the largest airport in the Washington-Baltimore region, we continue to aggressively pursue additional international and domestic service.

By: Ricky Smith




August 3, 2017

Comments of the US Travel Association in Support of the Department's Order to Show Cause

The US Travel Association, a national non-profit representing all aspects of the American travel industry, supports the Department’s tentative findings under 49 USC §41301 that Norwegian Air UK Limited should be issued a foreign air carrier permit. Norwegian UK service to the United States, if approved, will deliver widespread public benefits to the US by increasing inbound international travel, boosting American exports, and stimulating job growth in the travel sector.

By: Roger Dow, 202-408-8422




August 4, 2017

Comments of Connecticut Airport Authority in Support of the Department's Order to Show Cause

Norwegian Air International has been a strong partner since commencing operations at Bradley International Airport in June 2017, and we are confident that Norwegian UK’s expansion would be a positive development for US aviation. Norwegian UK would be able to operate service to new routes that they are currently unable to offer, and we believe that there are a number of possible opportunities to further expand the nonstop routes available at Bradley through a partnership with the new Norwegian affiliate. The CAA is committed to enhancing our route structure to the greatest extent possible in order to benefit the regional business community and to provide our leisure passengers with the destinations that they desire most.

We believe that the Department has taken a comprehensive and appropriate review of the application from Norwegian UK. The CAA concurs with the Department’s tentative decision, and we strongly urge the Department to finalize its order swiftly to ensure that American travelers are afforded the numerous benefits that are associated with heightened airline competition.

By: Kevin Dillon, 860-292-2054




August 4, 2017

Comments of Syracuse Regional Airport Authority

Syracuse Hancock International Airpott supports the Department's tentative decision to approve the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited for an exemption and foreign air carrier permit. We urge you to finalize this decision without delay so that Norwegian UK can commence service to the United States as soon as possible.

By: Christina Callahan




August 4, 2017

Comments of the Washington Airports Task Force in Support of the Department's Order to Show Cause

A broader economic argument to be made in support of NAUK's application is that Boeing, the largest US manufacturing exporter, has benefitted from the direct sale of several hundreds of 737-800, 737-SMAX, 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft (in the aggregate) to NAUK's parent company Norwegian Air Shuttle since 2005. In addition, NAS has committed to lease additional 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft from third parties as well. Of this large fleet of aircraft on hand and on order, NAS expects to place an initial group of 787 aircraft with NAUK for use in various London-US markets once the latter's application in this proceeding receives final DOT approval. This large financial commitment to Boeing, measured in the billions of dollars, helps to support not only the manufacturing base of the US but also the employment, directly and indirectly, of well over 100,000 employees at Boeing and its suppliers.

The Washington Airports Task Force reiterates its strong support for the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited for authority to operate Transatlantic air service in the belief that further developments in low-fare air service will benefit Transatlantic market growth, offer travelers a choice among air service providers, and bolster the US economy. Moreover, it is clear that the application of Norwegian Air UK Limited not only meets the criteria for approval under the US-EU Agreement but it also satisfies the requirements of the appropriate European and UK safety authorities to offer its proposed Transatlantic services. So since there appears to be no basis whatsoever for further delay in this case, the duration of which has now exceeded 19 months, the time has come for the Department of Transportation to make final its tentative decision in Order 2017-7-6 and grant Norwegian Air UK the foreign air carrier permit for which it has applied.

By: Keith Meurlin, 703-572-8714




August 4, 2017

Objections of the Labor Parties to the Order to Show Cause

The Labor Parties' objections rest on three grounds. First, DOT appears to adopt its reasoning in Norwegian Air International, (OST-2013-0204) that Article 17 bis of the US-EU Air Transport Agreement does not afford a basis to deny a foreign air carrier permit. Second, DOT appears to also adopt its reasoning in NAI that the statutory public interest test in 49 USC § 40101 does not apply to the review of permit applications and declines to make an express finding that granting a permit to NAUK is in the public interest. Third, DOT declines to place conditions on NAUK's permit, as authorized by 49 USC § 41305(b), that would make it more likely that NAUK's operations would be consistent with the intent expressed in Article 17 bis, and with the public interest.

DOT should not make a final decision on NAUK's application until the Department has obtained more information from the carrier about its employment model. If DOT does decide to approve NA UK's application without obtaining that information, it should place the conditions requested by the Labor Parties on NAUK's permit.

Counsel: James Clark, 631-261-1040 for Allied Pilots Association / Stella Dulanya, 214-722-4212 for Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association / Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 for Air Line Pilots Association, International


 

August 9, 2017

Reply of Atlas Air

Only the Air Line Pilots Association, International and the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association, which refer to themselves collectively as the "Labor Parties," have filed in opposition. Atlas Air, Inc believes that the Labor Parties' contentions are unsustainable and should promptly be rejected.

Repeating tired arguments that Article 17 bis of the US-EU agreement requires the US government to oversee EU airline labor relations, the Labor Parties ask for further investigation into Norwegian UK's "employment model." Such an investigation would exceed the scope of Article 17 bis, waste valuable administrative resources and set new precedent for regulatory intrusion into the nature of airline commercial decisions. The request for the Department to impose limitations on where Norwegian UK can establish its pilot bases is equally anathema. Doing so would constitute an open invitation for foreign regulators to follow suit, harming US airlines.

Final action on the Norwegian UK application already has been delayed too long by the Department's need to address novel objections and navigate the related political environment. On the merits, this is a simple matter. As envisioned by the US-EU air services agreement, an EU airline meeting its Member State's licensing requirements has applied for broad authority to start service in new US-EU markets. The Department should issue its final order expeditiously so the traveling public can start to enjoy the benefits contemplated when the US-EU agreement was signed.

Counsel: Atlas Air, Russell Pommer, 202-822-9121




August 10, 2017

Answer of Federal Express

As noted in our earlier filings, FedEx is not intervening in this matter to support a particular carrier, but to underscore our support of the US-European Union Air Services Agreement. The main purpose of that Agreement was to get government out of the business of limiting what consumers could choose by encouraging diverse market offerings. In the case of market entry filings, the Agreement eliminated unnecessary and burdensome regulation, a goal which all US carriers have advanced since deregulation in 1977. NUK’s compliance with the requirements of the US, the United Kingdom, and with those laid out in the Open Skies Agreement should require the Department to advance NUK’s application to finality without further delay.

FedEx welcomes the tentative decision in favor of granting the application. We believe that the decision in Norwegian Air International (OST-2013-0204) set forth in exhaustive detail the well-supported conclusions regarding Article 17 bis and the statutory standard.

Counsel: FedEx, Courtney Felts, 901-434-8632


 

August 11, 2017

Reply of the Labor Parties to Answer of Federal Express

Federal Express Corporation makes a good observation in its August 10th filing, namely, that the conditions we proposed in our August 4th Objections did not accommodate the possibility that Norwegian Air UK might establish bases for pilots and flight attendants in the US FedEx Answer 2. The exclusion of the US as a potential base was inadvertent. Our earlier request that conditions be placed on any permit granted to NAUK did include a US or UK base condition (Answer of Labor Parties to Norwegian Air UK Limited's Request for Expedited Processing, Jan. 3, 2017, 1-2). Consistent with that request, we ask that DOT place the following conditions on any permit it grants to NAUK:

  1. the pilots and flight attendants are to be based in the US or UK;
  2. the pilots and flight attendants are to be employed by a company in the same country as NAUK's pilots and flight attendants are based (i.e., the US or UK) under contracts that will be governed by that country's employment and social security laws; and
  3. the pilots and flight attendants are to have the right to choose a representative for collective bargaining purposes.

Counsel: James Clark, 631-261-1040 for Allied Pilots Association / Stella Dulanya, 214-722-4212 for Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association / Russell Bailey, 202-797-4086 for Air Line Pilots Association, International


 

August 18, 2017

Comments of Captain Stephen Colman to Order to Show Cause

Atypical Employment in Aviation - Final Report

The Department previously referred to consideration of a permit application by a Norwegian Group Airline as "novel and complex" and took into account purported "changes to its [Notwegian's] hiring and employment practices" in granting a permit.

DOT Final Order 2016-11-22. "In reaching our decision to grant NAI's permit, we have taken into account the totality of the record regarding its application, including those changes to its hiring and employment practices that it bas offered during the course of this proceeding."

No filing has been made by Norwegian Air UK Limited that any alternative is planned at any location/base to the previously objected labor practices.

The multijurisdictional convo lutions to effect circumvention of direct employment and associated responsibilities by the respective Norwegian airline, reveals Norwegian's labor practices have become more novel and more complex.

Any organization using a multijurisdictional convoluted labor model or scheme that may inhibit, obstruct or permit punitive action against those reporting safety concerns, has no place in a safety critical transport environment and cannot possibly be in the public interest.

I respectfully request the Department carefully consider the facts surrounding Norwegian's labor scheme and not award Norwegian Air UK Limited a Foreign Air Carrier Permit.

By: Stephen Colman




Order 2017-9-16
OST-2015-0261
- Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger

Issued August 25, 2017 | Served September 22, 2017

Final Order

We have decided to finalize our tentative decision as set forth in Order 2017-7-6 and grant Norwegian UK’s request for a foreign air carrier permit under 49 USC §41301 to enable it to conduct foreign scheduled and charter air transportation of persons, property and mail to the full extent permitted under the US-EU Agreement, as specified in the foreign air carrier permit attached as the Appendix to this Order.

The Labor Parties have offered no arguments not already considered, and rejected, by the Department. We therefore see no persuasive reason for the Department to withhold Norwegian UK’s permit authority, or, in granting that authority, to impose any of the conditions proposed by the Labor Parties.

As an additional matter, we also make final our tentative decision to the extent that we noted that we have taken into account the commitments made in the NAI docket by Mr. Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle (parent company of both NAI and Norwegian UK) with respect to hiring and employment practices offered as a direct result of issues raised in that proceeding. We stated that similar issues have been raised in this proceeding and our anticipation that those previous commitments will be implemented as to Norwegian UK, consistently with applicable law.

Against this background and in the circumstances presented, we have decided to grant the request of Norwegian UK for a foreign air carrier permit.

By: Susan McDermott


 

Order 2020-12-25
OST-2020-0259
OST-2007-28149 - British Airways - US-EU
OST-2007-28594 - Virgin Atlantic - US-EU Open-Skies
OST-2008-0008 - TAG Aviation (UK) - US-Europe
OST-2008-0074 - Titan Airways - EU-US
OST-2008-0213 - Jet2.com - EU-US Scheduled and Chater
OST-2008-0373 - Thomson Airways - EU-US Open-Skies
OST-2009-0076 - DHL Air - EU-US All-Cargo Open-Skies
OST-2010-0150 - Acropolis Aviation - EU-US Open-Skies Charter Passenger
OST-2010-0202 - Gama Aviation - EU-US Charters
OST-2013-0109 - AirTanker Services - EU-US Open-Skies Charter Passenger and Cargo
OST-2014-0139 - London Executive Aviation - EU-US Open-Skies
OST-2015-0202 - Saxon Air Charter - UK-US Passenger Charters
OST-2015-0261 - Norwegian Air UK - EU-US Open-Skies Scheduled Passenger
OST-2016-0063
- CargoLogicAir - EU-US All-Cargo
OST-2018-0052 - ExecuJet (UK) - EU-US Open-Skies Charter Passenger
OST-2018-0188 - Voluxis - EU-US Open-Skies Charter Passenger
OST-2019-0075 - Concierge U d/b/a Jet Concierge Club - EU-US Open-Skies Charter Passenger
OST-2019-0177 - Catreus - EU-US Open-Skies Charter Passenger

Issued and Served December 29, 2020

Order Granting Exemptions, Amending/Reissuing Statements of Authorization, Amending Part 375 Special Authorizations, and to Show Cause

Appendix A - Existing Authorities Held by UK Carriers

By this Order, the Department is taking, sua sponte, several regulatory actions in response to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit) and the application of a new air transport agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom. Specifically, effective January 1, 2021, we (1) grant certain foreign air carriers of the United Kingdom exemption authority under 49 USC §40109, subject to conditions; (2) amend/reissue statements of authorization held by certain UK carriers and/or their foreign and US carrier partners; (3) amend Part 375 special authorizations held by UK foreign civil aircraft operators; and (4) tentatively find that it is in the public interest to modify and reissue to certain foreign air carriers of the United Kingdom the foreign air carrier permits attached as Appendix C to this Order, also subject to conditions.

With respect to our tentative decision to modify and reissue foreign air carrier permits to the foreign air carriers of the United Kingdom as specified in the body of this Order, we direct all interested persons to show cause why our tentative decision, as set forth above, should not be made final. Any interested person objecting to the issuance of an order making final our tentative findings and conclusions with respect to the reissuance of foreign air carrier permits as specified in the body of this Order shall, no later than twenty-one calendar days after the date of service of this Order, file with the Department.

We dismiss as moot the applications of CargoLogicAir Limited in Docket OST-2016-0063 and ExecuJet (UK) Limited d/b/a ExecuJet Europe in Docket OST-2018-0052.

By: Benjamin Taylor

OST-2020-0260 - UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies - Notice Inviting Applications

UK-US Air Transport Agreement - November 10, 2020

 

 


Home | Search | Help
OST by Number | OST by Order | OST by Carrier | OST by Subject | OST by Day
OIA by Carrier/Subject | OIA by Day | FAA by Number | FAA by Subject | FAA by Day
Carrier Financials | Charter Office