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Tue, May 13, 2014

ALPA Welcomes 'Fair Competition' From Dreamjet

Union’s DOT Filing Asserts Dreamjet Application Is A 'Far Cry' From NAI Scheme

Documents filed Friday by ALPA with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) make clear the stark contrast between Dreamjet’s garden variety application for a DOT foreign air carrier permit and Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) request for authority to operate a business model that will put the livelihood of thousands of U.S. airline workers at risk, the union said in a news release.

ALPA says its filing details the difference in a reply to NAI’s answer to Dreamjet’s application for a foreign air carrier permit. “Dreamjet’s application could not be more different from Norwegian Air International’s effort to cheat the system by avoiding Norwegian labor law,” said Capt. Lee Moak (pictured), ALPA’s president.

In a reply filed jointly with the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and the European Cockpit Association, ALPA states that NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit is a “far cry from that presented to the Department by Dreamjet and by the many other unopposed applications that have been presented to the Department by European carriers following implementation of the Air Transport Agreement.”

With operations centered in Norway, NAI is attempting to operate its international long-haul flights as an Irish airline expressly to avoid Norwegian employment laws. It appears that NAI is using flight crews hired through a Singapore employment company on individual contracts with compensation well below that of its Norway-based employees.

“ALPA has a long history of championing a fair marketplace in which airlines compete on merit, schedule, customer service, and the routes they fly,” continued Moak. “We are not afraid of competition. U.S. airlines and their workers are eager for the opportunity to go head to head with any airline that competes fairly by the rules governing the global marketplace.”

Last week, ALPA launched Save Our Skies (SOS), a multiplatform campaign designed to mobilize the American public to voice their collective opposition to actions that are harmful to U.S. airline industry workers’ jobs, including specifically NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit.

More than 30,000 people have signed the #denyNAI petition urging Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to reject the NAI scheme and stand up for U.S. airline workers, and more than 100 members of Congress have voiced concern or outright opposition to NAI’s DOT application.

“ALPA does not oppose Dreamjet’s application, just as we have not opposed the many other European airline applications under the U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement,” said Capt. Moak. “In contrast, Norwegian Air International’s application is based on an unacceptable business model that should be rejected.”

FMI: www.alpa.org

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