The Britain-based subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, which will soon introduce new direct flights from important European destinations, received final permission to fly to the U.S. from the U.S. Department of Transportation Friday.
Trans-Atlantic flyers (and proponents of America’s Open Skies agreements) have something to celebrate: the U.S. Department of Transportation last week gave Norwegian Air UK final approval to fly to the U.S., after a lengthy approval process. Just last year, the low-cost carrier won approval for its Irish-based subsidiary, Norwegian Air International.
These victories could not have come at a better time. Norwegian Air recently unveiled new flights to destinations in the UK and Ireland from previously underserved U.S. airports in the northeast. These flights introduce needed competition, choice, and value for flyers at a time when the Big Three U.S. carriers (American, Delta and United) and their alliance partners control more than 80 percent of trans-Atlantic seat capacity.
American workers, too, will see major benefits from DOT’s decision—more flights to U.S. destinations, enabled by our country’s Open Skies agreements worldwide, mean more purchases of American-made planes, and more money spent at American businesses. And that all means more American jobs. It’s even good for U.S. air carriers’ bottom lines, as these new Norwegian flights will funnel more passengers onto domestic routes operated by those airlines.
The travel industry is sincerely grateful to DOT for continuing to uphold Open Skies through this decision. International travel is our nation’s largest service export, and second largest overall. Supporting smart pro-travel policies is the key to job growth across the country, and Norwegian UK’s approval is one great step of many we hope to see in that direction.