By Dow Jones Business News,
February 12, 2014, 12:56:00 PM EDT
By CHRISTINA ZANDER
STOCKHOLM-- Norwegian Air Shuttle said on Wednesday that its Irish subsidiary has been granted a European license
from the Ireland's Aviation Authorities to start airline operations that have been the subject of controversy in North
America and Europe.
Norwegian Air, Europe's third biggest budget carrier by revenue after Ryanair and EasyJet has laid out aggressive
plans and secured Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliners to fuel a global expansion in coming years.
An important step was winning approval to set up an Irish subsidiary called Norwegian Air International to get an
Irish operator's certificate, which allows an airline to use aircraft for commercial purposes and a U.S. foreign-carrier
Norwegian said the U.S. Transportation Department is processing its application for a permit.
The airline also said it established its long-haul company in Ireland because of European-Union traffic regulations
and to gain access to better financing conditions for its rapidly growing fleet.
The carrier has more than 260 aircraft on order. It stressed that Ireland wasn't chosen because the country has "
specific rules and regulations that will allow the use of American and Asian crew, like some politicians and unions have
The airline's trans-Atlantic expansion plans have met resistance from other carriers and labor unions, as well as
some lawmakers in the U.S.
Critics say Norwegian's business model, which involves the registration of its aircraft in Ireland and hiring of
staff at local bases in Europe, Asia and the U.S., is an attempt to circumvent Norwegian labor laws and set a precedent
for airlines to use shipping-style "flags of convenience" to cut costs.
Write to CHRISTINA ZANDER at email@example.com
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