Air authorities powerless over Norwegian move / News / The Foreigner

Air authorities powerless over Norwegian move. Carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle’s considered overseas aircraft registration is unpreventable, Norway’s Ministry of Transport says. CEO Bjørn Kjos and his crew aired the possibility last week the airline may place one of its forthcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliners under an Irish flag for cost reasons. Mr Kjos argued competing with Asian airlines on certain long-haul routes, with Norway-based cabin personnel and accompanying wages, would be nigh impossible otherwise.

norwegianairline, norwayflights, boeingdreamliner, 787



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Air authorities powerless over Norwegian move

Published on Monday, 29th April, 2013 at 14:21 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 29th April 2013 at 18:11.

Carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle’s considered overseas aircraft registration is unpreventable, Norway’s Ministry of Transport says.

787 Dreamliner in Norwegian livery
787 Dreamliner in Norwegian livery
Photo: Atle Straume/Norwegian


CEO Bjørn Kjos and his crew aired the possibility last week the airline may place one of its forthcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliners under an Irish flag for cost reasons.

Mr Kjos argued competing with Asian airlines on certain long-haul routes, with Norway-based cabin personnel and accompanying wages, would be nigh impossible otherwise.

Unions in Norway have raised the alarm this would jeopardise these, as well as personnel’s working conditions. Minister of Labour Anniken Huitfeldt has stated this “is out of the question for me to make compromises [on].”

However, Ministry of Transport officials tell The Foreigner in an email there is nothing they can do should Mr Kjos decided to carry out any proposed action.

“As long as Norwegian has a Norwegian AOC (Air Operators Certificate) the company’s activities are as a main principle subject to Norwegian legislation. There is however nothing Norwegian authorities can do to prevent Norwegian from moving it’s AOC to Ireland or another country,” they write.

Norwegian applied to the CAA Norway to modify its AOC in a letter dated 17 April 2013, a copy of which the CAA has sent The Foreigner.

Also included with this is an application for approval of leasing aircraft from Dreamliner owner International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) – the head lease  – and for a (sub) wet lease agreement (ACMI) between Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS)  and subsidiary Norwegian Long Haul AS.

Norwegian states its 12-year contract means the Dreamliner “will probably be registered in Ireland under [aircraft] registration EI-LNA”, the application reads.

Dublin-based Wilmington Trust SP Services is listed as the Dreamliner’s trustee, with which Norwegian signed the agreement on 31 October 2011.

Norway was put as the aircraft’s country of registration at the time. Delivery of this first Boeing 787 is planned for June/July 2013.

“The Government said no to changing the regulations in January [2013]. Already at that time, Norwegian made it clear that they were considering registering long-haul planes in another country,” according to Minister of Labour Anniken Huitfeldt.

“The Government wants to ensure good competitive conditions for Norwegian industry, and we work with this every day. To us, however, it is important to assure terms and conditions for employees, and to prevent social dumping. It is a shame if Norwegian chooses to register aircrafts abroad,” she added.

What, if any, action might be taken regarding Norwegian now?

“The Ministry of Labour will not take any action regarding Norwegian,” officials answer.

Meanwhile, as reported in last week’s article, the Norwegian matter comes at a time Ryanair is under scrutiny for alleged pay and working conditions inferiorities regarding two Norway-domiciled former staff.

Ryanair has a home base at Rygge Airport in eastern Norway. These ex cabin personnel have accused the low-priced carrier of using “slave contracts, which CEO Michael O’Leary refutes.

“They just invented these false claims some six months after they were dismissed: one for breach of safety regulations, and two was dismissed because she wouldn’t turn up for work during her 12-month probation,” said Mr O’Leary.

The Foreigner asked Ministry of Transport officials how they might be handling the matter, ensuring fairness in both their treatment of the Ireland-registered carrier, and regarding Norwegian’s proposed move.

“Competition and globalization within international aviation is rapidly increasing. The Norwegian Ministry of Transport is currently performing an extensive study in order to further identify challenges,” they declare.

“The study will be an important tool for the establishment of measures that in the best possible way will take care of the interests of both the airliners and their employees. The results from the study are estimated to be available by the end of 2013.”



Published on Monday, 29th April, 2013 at 14:21 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 29th April 2013 at 18:11.

This post has the following tags: norwegianairline, norwayflights, boeingdreamliner, 787.





  
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