Norwegian won't be rid of its critics in year two either, but it may see an aviation landscape that rewards upstarts like itself, or maybe even legacy carriers adopting its techniques.
Norwegian Air Shuttle has taken the first anniversary of its U.S. Service to hit back on a number of allegations made against it by critics in the U.S. and abroad.
In an extended press release, they make their case as one of the low-cost heroes of the everyman flyer, highlighting risks that, without competition, flying might return to its former status as the privilege of “the wealthy few.”
The announcement is formatted as a list of Accusations vs. Truths, taking on “slanderous allegations from labor unions and opponents.” These include claims that their subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) in Ireland was established as a “Flag of convenience,” that they offer “substandard working conditions,” that their “business model compromises safety,” that it is “government sponsored” and “union hostile,” and that it doesn’t “comply with the Open Skies Agreement.”
The airline states that “competition on intercontinental flights is long overdue,” and asks the question:
“Why should a flight between New York and Europe cost three times as much as a flight between New York and Los Angeles? The flight to Europe is only about an hour longer, sometimes even less.”
After presenting answers to the key arguments against its operations, Norwegian closes its case by stating:
“If the authorities listen to the legacy carriers and the unions, the losers will be the customers who will be left with no other option than airlines that offer astronomic fares and poor in-flight service. The American people deserve to have a choice.”
The full text of the announcement and its arguments is embedded below. Norwegian has also established a site called openourskies.com which is regularly updated with reactions from the airline to media reports about its operation, and further arguments against extending its US operations.
Marisa Garcia has worked in aviation since 1994, spending 16 years on the design and manufacturing of cabin interiors and cabin safety equipment. She shares insights gained from this experience on Flight Chic and Tweets as @designerjet.
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Photo credit: Interior of Norwegian Air Shuttle's Dreamliners. Norwegian Air