Sunday 25 February 2018

Further delay likely for Cork-US flights

Members of Norwegian airline's long haul crew.
Members of Norwegian airline's long haul crew.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Norwegian Air International is facing increasing opposition in the United States to its plan to fly from Ireland to America.

The US Department of Transport has now extended a Friday deadline by 10 days for receiving objections to its plan to grant a permit to the Dublin-based airline - a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle.

That means the chances of Norwegian Air International (NAI) being able to launch a planned service from Cork to Boston for the upcoming season summer are narrowing.

A number of unions from the US and Europe are drafting a joint response to oppose the permit. They include the European Cockpit Association, the Association of Flight Attendants, and the Transportation Workers Union.

They sought the extension for filing their objection, noting that the needed the delay in order to complete the coordination necessary to submit a consolidated response.

Separately, the Southwest Airline Pilots' Association also sought an extension to the deadline.

The US Department of Transportation has agreed to the request, meaning the deadline is now pushed out to May 16. The objections must then be reviewed before a final decision on granting the permit to NAI is confirmed.

"While we are sensitive to the concerns voiced by NAI… regarding further delay in this case, we believe that this extension is reasonable in the circumstances presented in the interest of ensuring procedural due process," the Department said.

Another objector to the permit is Captain Steve Colman. He has worked for a number of airlines, including Norwegian, and is a high-profile opponent to NAI.

Irish Independent

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