FORT WORTH, TX – The Allied Pilots Association, certified collective bargaining agent for the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, urged support for newly introduced HR 5090.
If enacted, the bipartisan legislation would direct the Secretary of Transportation to refrain from issuing a foreign air carrier permit to Norwegian Air International absent certain conditions. The Department of Transportation announced on April 15 that it had granted tentative approval to Norwegian Air International’s permit application.
The DOT decision is now open for public comment before the department makes a final decision. If the DOT decision stands, Norwegian Air International would be able to fly to and from the United States in direct competition with U.S. carriers on long-haul international routes.
“We applaud Representatives Peter DeFazio, Frank LoBiondo, Rick Larsen and Lynn Westmoreland for sponsoring H.R.5090. By doing so, they’ve stood up for fair competition and drawn the line against labor forum shopping,” said APA President Capt. Keith Wilson. “Norwegian Air International — an Irish subsidiary that won’t serve Ireland and hires most of its crews in Thailand through a Singapore-based recruitment firm — is a blatant flag-of-convenience scheme, pure and simple.
“APA urges lawmakers to support this bill and do what must be done to preserve open markets and fair play among airlines that fly trans-Atlantic routes.”
H.R.5090 emphasizes the need to comply with the intent of Article 17 bis of the United States-European Union-Norway-Iceland Air Transport Agreement, which stipulates that “opportunities created by the Agreement are not intended to undermine labour standards or the labour-related rights and principles contained in the Parties’ respective laws” and that “these principles…shall guide the Parties as they implement the Agreement.”