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Cork Independent


Norwegian Air confident of getting quick approval

Thursday, 24th November, 2016 1:01am

Although the wait to take off has been almost three years, Norwegian Air says it remains confident of a quick approval on its delayed application to fly from Cork to Boston.

This follows the EU Commission’s recent appointment of an arbitrator to try and end the impasse over the Norwegian Air (NAI) transatlantic flight plans out of Cork.

Professor Giorgio Sacerdoti will be appointed as EU arbitrator in the upcoming arbitration case between the US and the EU, over NAI and its application to fly between Cork and Shannon and the US.

A Norwegian spokesperson said that with a strong backing, the decision on the application should be in the airline’s favour. “Norwegian Air International (NAI) has the Irish Government, the EU, major airports, airlines and businesses on its side so it’s difficult to see the arbitration case going against our favour.

“With huge support and the clear facts on our side, we are confident the DoT will approve Norwegian Air International’s application and we hope they do so quickly.”

The Italian professor has served eight years in the appellate body of the World Trade Organisation.

The EU Commission moved to launch the arbitration procedure last July due to the failure of US authorities to approve the Cork to Boston route; an application that was first put forward almost three years ago.

Under arbitration, the EU and US will each name an arbitrator, while a third arbitrator will be appointed by their mutual consent.

If the US is found to have breached the EU/US Open Skies Agreement, the EU could suspend benefits that US airlines enjoy under the 2007 pact. Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, also welcomed the move by the European Commission. “I hope that this move will end the deadlock that has emerged between the US and EU officials in relation to Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign carrier permit, which was first submitted in 2013.

“The continued US delay in awarding the licence to Norwegian has gone well beyond acceptable and we are pleased that the EU, with the full support of the Irish Government, is now pressing ahead on arbitration to get this dispute finally resolved,” he added.

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