Low-fare airline Norwegian still doesn’t have the Irish airline license it needs to keep its long-haul Irish-registered aircraft running on flights to Bangkok and the US after December 23. It’s reportedly appealed to Norwegian aviation authorities to let it keep flying on the license they issued for the service, to avoid having to ground its intercontinental service on Christmas Eve.
“Norwegian has sent us an application for extended dispensation (to use Irish-registered aircraft),” Marit Kvarum of Luftfartstilsynet (Civil Aviation Authority – Norway) told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on Friday.
Norwegian needs an Irish Air Operator Certificate (AOC) but the Irish authorities have rejected its application twice earlier. Norwegian has refiled but it’s unclear whether the Irish authorities will issue the AOC before the airline loses its dispensation, which has given it special permission to avoid rules banning use of foreign cabin crew who are paid lower wages on board Norwegian-licensed aircraft.
The Norwegian state authorities, meanwhile, have earlier indicated that no extension would be allowed, claiming that a delay on the part of Irish authorities wouldn’t be reason enough for an extension. Rival airline SAS, meanwhile, has warned it will object to any extension, arguing that it would give Norwegian Air an unfair competitive advantage.