More Norwegian Air flights to the US have been cleared for takeoff, after the Oslo-base airline finally received preliminary approval for them from the US Department of Transportation. Norwegian said it means it will quickly start flying planned routes such as one from Cork in Ireland to Boston.
Norwegian Air officials called the approval a “great and important strategic victory” for its Irish subsidiary. Norwegian had applied through it to run the flights, based on the “Open Skies” agreement between the EU and the US. The airline has been seeking to operate the new trans-Atlantic routes for more than two years.
Final approval will also allow Norwegian to move forward with its plans to fly more routes from its European bases in cities such as Paris, Rome and Barcelona to destinations in South America and South Africa, for example.
Competing airlines had strongly opposed the flights, noting how Norwegian uses chearper Asian flight attendants, instead of Europeans or Americans, on the trans-Atlantic flights, in violation of the Open Skies agreement. Legal challenges may still arise, but Norwegian officials indicated they’d quickly start adding new routes to other US cities as well.