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Norwegian Receives Overwhelming Support on both Sides of the Atlantic for Norwegian Air International

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Norwegian Receives Overwhelming Support on both Sides of the Atlantic for Norwegian Air International

  • “DOT should finish expeditiously the job of granting final approval of NAI’s applicationsay former U.S. DOT Secretaries Mineta, Peters, and Card

Norwegian has outlined the huge support it has received for its Ireland-based subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI), which is awaiting approval from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for a foreign carrier permit. 

On April 15, the DOT issued an order proposing to grant a foreign air carrier permit to NAI. With broad support from dozens of stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic, NAI looks forward to DOT’s final order finalising its decision and serving the U.S. market.

Over the past two and a half years, NAI’s application has received wide support from the aviation industry. Three former U.S. Secretaries of Transportation – Andrew H. Card, Jr, Norman Y. Mineta, and Mary E. Peters – have voiced their support for issuance of NAI’s foreign air carrier permit – not once, but twice. 

They join a long list of supporters, including U.S. airports across the country – from Oakland to Denver to Fort Lauderdale to Orlando – as well as leading consumer groups like U.S. Travel, airlines like FedEx, Atlas and Ryanair, almost 150 of Norwegian’s U.S.-based crew, thousands of individual consumers, the Irish Government, Irish Aviation Authority, Cork Airport and many Irish businesses and consumer groups.

The three former U.S. Secretaries “encourage approval of NAI’s application because it satisfies all legal and regulatory requirements in U.S. law and the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement ... we relayed to Congress the importance of this agreement with our European partners as one of the most pro-growth, pro-consumer initiatives implemented by our government during the previous two decades … DOT should finish expeditiously the job of granting final approval of NAI’s application.”

Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, which represents all components of the U.S. travel industry, stated to the DOT: “NAI’s proposed service will improve competition along transatlantic routes, encourage greater travel to the U.S. from key European markets, and help the U.S. achieve the Administration’s goal of attracting 100 million international visitors by 2021. . . . Flights to new destinations allow travel to better fulfill its role as a bridge of understanding between people and nations – surely one reason, even apart from the strong legal arguments, why the State Department believes that approval of the application is “in the foreign policy interests of the United States.”

Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received, both here in the U.S. and in Europe, including the Irish government. We are confident the Department of Transportation will approve Norwegian Air International’s application and we hope they will do so shortly. Approval of NAI will result in more U.S. aviation sector jobs, enable Norwegian to expand its already large pool of American-based cabin crew, and deliver much needed competition and affordable fares to consumers on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as open up new transatlantic routes currently not served by any other airline.”

Norwegian has more than 400 American-based cabin crew in the U.S., more than any other foreign airline. The carrier has two U.S. crew bases: one in Fort Lauderdale and one in New York.

For more information on Norwegian Air International and its supporters, please visit




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The Norwegian group is a leading Nordic aviation company, headquartered at Fornebu outside Oslo, Norway. The company has over 8,200 employees and owns two of the prominent airlines in the Nordics: Norwegian Air Shuttle and Widerøe’s Flyveselskap. Widerøe was acquired by Norwegian in 2024, aiming to facilitate seamless air travel across the two airline’s networks.

Norwegian Air Shuttle, the largest Norwegian airline with around 4,700 employees, operates an extensive route network connecting Nordic countries to key European destinations. In 2023, Norwegian carried over 20 million passengers and maintained a fleet of 87 Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Widerøe’s Flyveselskap, Norway’s oldest airline, is Scandinavia’s largest regional carrier. The airline has more than 3,500 employees. Mainly operating the short-runway airports in rural Norway, Widerøe operates several state contract routes (PSO routes) in addition to its own commercial network. In 2023, the airline had 3.3 million passengers and a fleet of 48 aircraft, including 45 Bombardier Dash 8’s and three Embraer E190-E2's. Widerøe Ground Handling provides ground handling services at 41 Norwegian airports.

The Norwegian group has sustainability as a key priority and has committed to significantly reducing carbon emissions from its operations. Among numerous initiatives, the most noteworthy is the investment in production and use of fossil-free aviation fuel (SAF). Norwegian strives to become the sustainable choice for its passengers, actively contributing to the transformation of the aviation industry.