7 JULY 2014
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The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has raised concerns regarding airlines operating under 'Flags of Convenience' highlighted by Norwegian Air launching low-fare flights from Gatwick to the US using an airline registered in Dublin. Norway is not part of the EU and is not part of the airline bilateral between Europe and the US. (see BTN Norwegian Special and BTN 23 June)
The union welcomed the start of services to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale from Gatwick. However, Jim McAuslan, General Secretary of BALPA, said: “UK pilots welcome the opening of new routes from the UK to the US as will passengers”.
“The use of European pilots on this new route will reassure passengers who may otherwise have been concerned about an airline associated with a particular country by name which is in fact cherry-picking another country to oversee its safety standards and yet another to employ its pilots”.
“This complex arrangement would be a slippery slope towards a ‘flags of convenience’ approach and should be put on hold until the impact on passenger confidence, safety and employment standards is clearly assessed." www.balpa.org.uk
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