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US airline slams delay in licence for Norwegian

November 1st, 2016 11:50 AM

By Siobhan Cronin

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IN yet another development in the ongoing saga regarding Norwegian Air’s ongoing bid to get a licence to fly from Cork to the US, a major US airline has criticised the delays.

JetBlue Airways has written to the US transport secretary saying ‘an unfavorable light’ is being cast on the US due to its refusal to speed up the licensing process for Norwegian.

The Scandanavian airline is now waiting for over two years for approval to fly from Cork and Shannon to Boston and New York. Powerful industry unions are opposing the deal.

JetBlue, the New York-based large carrier, said the US was being questioned over its commitment to the rule of law, namely the Open Skies agreement with the EU, which allow for the introduction of transatlantic routes.

JetBlue’s letter says the delay could have negative repercussions for US airlines that wish to grow their networks, under Open Skies. 

‘JetBlue takes no position on the merits of this application. However, as the most successful new entrant airline in the US since the industry was deregulated in 1978, and as a carrier serving more than 20 nations with fully one-third of our available seat miles off short, and more international growth planned, we consider this nearly three-year delay concerning for all carriers seeking market access and due process,’ the letter added.

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