WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) made a preliminary decision to grant a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air International (NAI). There will now be a public comment period before a final determination is made by DOT.
“Norwegian Air should not be cleared for takeoff to the U.S. until the airline comes into compliance with existing laws that protect competition by ensuring a level playing field,” said Klobuchar. “This decision from the Department of Transportation would undercut American carriers and workers by creating a competitive disadvantage that violates the rules of the runway. I urge the Department to reconsider this decision which would harm U.S. airlines and their workers.”
Klobuchar has been a leader in efforts to protect American airline workers. In June of 2014, she joined with Senators Dan Coats (R-IN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) to introduce a bipartisan amendment to block Norwegian Air flights to the U.S. that would undercut American carriers.
U.S. law under the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement requires the DOT to apply a public interest standard when reviewing and approving foreign air carrier permits to ensure that U.S. air carriers are at least on an equal footing with foreign carriers.