Norwegian airline injects €39m into new Irish base
Published 01/02/2014 | 02:30
Norwegian, the Scandinavian airline that's one of Europe's biggest carriers, has injected $53m (€39m) into the Irish company it is using to front its long-haul service.
Norwegian is controversially basing its long-haul services to the US and Asia out of Ireland in order to bypass rules in its home country that would prevent it from hiring cheaper staff, and to avoid other tougher labour rules.
The decision caused uproar in Norway, but Norwegian has pressed ahead with its plans and has rented office space near Dublin Airport and hired staff here.
New filings at the Companies Office indicate that Norwegian Air Shuttle – the company behind Norwegian – stuffed $53m this month into its Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International.
The Irish base is essentially an administrative arm and the carrier isn't launching long-haul services from Ireland. Norwegian's short-haul business will continue to be based in and operated from Norway.
Last October, Norwegian announced that from this summer it will launch routes from London's Gatwick airport to Los Angeles, New York and Fort Lauderdale. It already operates services to destinations in the US and Thailand from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen using modern Boeing 787 Dreamliners registered in Ireland.
Last month, Norwegian submitted an application to US authorities to allow its Irish subsidiary to operate flights to more US destinations. But the US Airline Pilots Association, the world's largest pilot union, has called for the application to be rejected, claiming Norwegian Air International was "clearly designed to attempt to dodge laws and regulations".
Norwegian has been working to secure an Irish Air Operators Certificate for its transatlantic business, but there have been delays as the paperwork is completed. In the meantime, it has been granted an extension by Norwegian authorities to keep operating its long-haul service.