One of the most powerful politicians in the US has joined the opposition against Norwegian Air being granted approval to fly routes between the US and Europe. Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House and a veteran Congresswoman from San Francisco, thinks Norwegian will threaten tens of thousands of middle-class jobs if it’s allowed to fly the routes on a permanent basis with relatively low-paid Asian crews on board.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported over the weekend that Pelosi has written a letter to the US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, claiming that Norwegian is flying under a “flag of convenience” by registering its often-troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in Ireland, since Norwegian authorities refused to allow the airline to fly with non-European crews.
Both Pelosi and Foxx are Democrats, and Pelosi claimed she had more than 100 Congressional representatives behind her in her opposition to Norwegian Air. The airline’s application for traffic rights to the US is pending, and Norwegian has been flying with temporary permission.
Anne Sissel Skånvik, communications director for Norwegian Air, denies Norwegian Air is threatening jobs and is instead creating new jobs with its intercontinental service. The airline has hired several Americans based in Florida and is constantly expanding its service and route table. She also claimed the airline has received strong support from the tourist industry in the US. On Friday Norwegian Air opened a new base for its long-distance aircraft at Gatwick Airport outside London.