25 APRIL 2016
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The Ireland-based arm of Norwegian Air has been granted tentative approval to operate low-cost transatlantic flights between Ireland and the US.
The US Department of Transportation gave the go-ahead after the airline said it would employ only US- and European-based crew on the flights.
But recognising the move was controversial, with unions and other carriers objecting to Norwegian’s plans, the DOT has opened a consultation period for views to be heard before full approval is granted.
Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said if the green light was given it would allow the airline to expand its US operations, creating thousands of jobs and generating tens of millions of dollars of economic activity for US destinations.
He said the company could begin flying between Cork and Boston by the end of the year.
Kjos later told Reuters news agency that Norwegian, which began flying to the US three years ago, was likely to order an extra 10 B787 Dreamliners from Boeing, on top of the 40 the airline has under delivery.
"We have an option for an extra 10,” he said. “We will likely use that option, unless long-haul growth subsides completely.” www.norwegian.com
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