Saturday 23 September 2017

Donald Trump urged to stop new US-Cork flights

President Donald Trump salutes a Marines honor guard as he disembarks from Marine One upon arrival at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Donald Trump salutes a Marines honor guard as he disembarks from Marine One upon arrival at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
NAI also plans to launch lowcost flights from Cork . Photo: REUTERS
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

President Donald Trump has been urged to "put American jobs first" by revoking a permit that would allow Norwegian Air International (NAI) to launch flights between Cork and Boston this summer.

US Airline Pilots' Association (ALPA) spokesman Captain Greg Everhard told Fox News he hopes that President Trump "steps up" to cancel the permit that was granted in December to NAI.

Dublin-based NAI is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle. NAI also plans to launch low-cost flights between Cork and New York.

Mr Everhard, a captain with United Airlines, repeated claims - which have already been denied by NAI - that the Irish subsidiary was a flag of convenience, and that hundreds of thousands of American jobs would be at risk if NAI was allowed to exercise its permit.

Fox News news anchor Gregg Jarrett backed Mr Everhard in his attempts to have the permit revoked.

Asked what President Trump can do, Mr Everhard said: "This is a simple decision to enforce our trade agreements. By revoking the permit that allows NAI to operate, we think President Trump can make a very strong statement that he's going to put American jobs first and help save US aviation workers."

Mr Everhard insisted that the EU is "violating" the Open Skies agreement that permits any EU-based airline to fly to any destination in the US, and vice versa.

"We need the Trump administration to help us by revoking the permit that was granted in December," he said.

Last month, more than 100 congressmen and women in the United States urged Mr Trump to revoke the permit granted to NAI once he was inaugurated.

Norwegian Air Shuttle already operates between Europe and the United States.

"They're based in Norway, but they've started a company in Ireland and they're hiring crews using Asian employment contracts. This gives them an unfair advantage over US companies," Mr Everhard said.

Norwegian Air Shuttle has consistently denied that it is using the Irish subsidiary to circumvent labour laws in Norway, and has also pledged to use only US and EU-based crews for NAI.

In a surprise move, the US Department of Transportation finalised the permit for NAI in December, having provisionally agreed to issue it last summer. It had been expected a decision would have been delayed until the new administration.

Irish Independent

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