ALPA Fights On to Reverse Egregious NAI Decision
In a clear bait and switch for U.S. workers, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an egregious decision at the end of the day on December 2 — an order granting Norwegian Air International (NAI) a foreign air carrier permit to serve the United States under the U.S.–EU Air Transport Agreement (ATA). Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS), NAI’s parent company, has left no doubt that the NAI business model was designed expressly to lower labor standards — an outcome specifically prohibited by the ATA’s labor article.
This decision displays a blatant disregard for U.S. aviation workers and their jobs, as well as for U.S. international trade agreements. The unprecedented DOT action to allow a flag-of-convenience business model into U.S. markets threatens U.S. jobs and jeopardizes the U.S. international aviation industry. ALPA will spare no effort to reverse DOT’s ruling.
ALPA will continue to press the current administration to follow the letter of the agreement they negotiated. Meanwhile, President-elect Trump has taken a strong stand on trade enforcement and on protecting U.S. jobs. We will work with his administration to ensure that those principles are applied to the airline industry.
From the legislative perspective, ALPA is not alone in our disappointment with the DOT’s decision. Lawmakers from both parties and across Capitol Hill feel equally affronted. Since NAI first filed its application, ALPA has worked with Congress to garner 175 bipartisan cosponsors for H.R. 5090, the DenyNAI Act, along with more than 210 letters from U.S. senators and representatives, urging the DOT to deny NAI’s permit request. Former-U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari, who oversaw the U.S.–EU negotiations for the DOT, publicly affirmed that ALPA’s interpretation of the ATA is exactly the one foreseen by the U.S. negotiators at the time.
We need U.S. workers, airline passengers, air cargo shippers, and all those concerned about maintaining U.S. jobs, upholding U.S. trade agreements, and ensuring the future of the U.S. international aviation industry to urge decision makers to reverse this order. Take a stand for U.S. aviation workers and U.S. trade policy by sending a message of strong opposition through ALPA’s Call to Action.