Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) scheme to launch a Flag of Convenience airline has attracted a hefty opponent. NAI meet Jim Oberstar.
Yes, the former Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday urged Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to reject NAI’s application for a foreign air operator’s certificate to expand its long-haul transatlantic service.
Mr. Oberstar’s decision to go public against the NAI application shouldn’t surprise anyone. For 36 years as a member of the committee with primary oversight authority over the aviation industry, Mr. Oberstar always called out scams when he saw one. Drawing on his experience and expertise in this area, Mr. Oberstar writes that NAI’s application violates the U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement and threatens the future viability of the U.S. airline industry and its workforce. He also writes that competition in the transatlantic market “must not be set by those (read: NAI) who would seek to gain an unfair advantage at the expense of quality jobs and high labor standards.”
As usual, transportation workers and the nation can always count on Mr. Oberstar to weigh in on the side of good jobs, sound transportation policy and fair competition. He joins a growing list of airlines and unions on both sides of the Atlantic, AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, over 100 U.S Senators and Representatives, and others who have stood up against NAI’s nefarious strategy. We hope Secretary Foxx soon comes to the same conclusion and denies NAI’s application.