U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the Obama administration's long-awaited decision to allow flights by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air International into U.S. cities:

"The American travel community is ecstatic at the decision by the Obama administration to allow new service to U.S. cities by Norwegian Air International. If ever there were a trade policy that brings jobs to U.S. soil, this is it: NAI is flying and will buy more America-made planes, their passengers will spend money in American businesses, and American travelers will have more and cheaper options when they fly. This announcement is an unmistakable endorsement of competition, connectivity and Open Skies agreements, and a welcome repudiation of protectionist, anti-competitive policymaking.

"There is zero downside to allowing more low-cost carriers into U.S. airports: it's a policy that's good for consumers, stupendous for U.S. economic and job growth, and even good for U.S. airlines because it broadens the market for domestic connector flights. A rising tide lifts all planes, so to speak.

"More choices for American travelers and more capacity to bring foreign visitors and their dollars to U.S. shores is the unimpeachably correct decision, period.

"Our thanks go to the Department of Transportation and this administration for continuing to uphold the pro-Open Skies ideal that traces its roots to the first Bush administration. Since that time, these agreements have maintained the U.S. as a global leader in aviation and created jobs here at home. We have every confidence that President-elect Trump, with his unequaled background in business and hospitality and his strong interest in the U.S. trade balance, will recognize travel's place as the country's No. 1 exporter of services and continue to build upon this amazing momentum."

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 15.1 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit www.ustravel.org.