192 congress members in the US have now signed a petition against the European airline company.
US Congress members move to block Norwegian
Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Airlines, is fighting to get a permanent licence to operate flights out of the US. Photo: NTB scanpix
26 November 2014
Growing numbers of US Congress members are moving to block Norwegian Airlines' pursuit of a permanent licence to run flights between Europe and America.
Norwegian has for almost a year tried to get a permanent licence by the authorities to be allowed to operate in the US. The process usually takes a few weeks, but Bjørn Kjos, the CEO of Norwegian, has met intense resistance, not the least from the US Pilots Association.
Congress representatives have written a letter to the United States Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx. The letter requested Foxx reject Norwegian’s application for permanent flight permission in the US, reported Dagens Næringsliv.
The members of the US House of Representatives wrote that they fear the consequences for domestic airline companies if Norwegian gets the permission they ask for. The total number of representatives in the House is 435.
The cross-political group is fronted by the Republican Chris Collins from New York and the Democrat Albion Sires from New Jersey, according to Aftenposten.
Norwegian, according to CEO Bjørn Kjos, has lost hundreds of millions of kroner by not yet receiving the licence. Yet the CEO is quite calm about the situation.
Communications director at Norwegian, Anne-Sissel Skånvik, said to Aftenposten: "We have seen things like this before. This is part of an enormous propaganda machinery that is set in motion in order to keep a low price agency like Norwegian out of the American market.”
Congress members have opposed Norwegian before, but not in such big numbers.