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CONTACT: Captain Dennis Tajer, 847-902-8481; Gregg Overman, 817-302-2250/817-312-3901

ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION ON FLAG-OF-CONVENIENCE AIRLINES AND H.R. 5090: 'WE URGE CONGRESS TO ACT SWIFTLY'

FORT WORTH, Texas (July 5, 2016) — The Allied Pilots Association, certified collective bargaining agent for the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, expressed strong support for the Department of Transportation’s dismissal of Norwegian Air UK Limited’s application for a foreign air carrier permit exemption, and reiterated support for H.R. 5090, a bill pending before lawmakers.

In its June 30 order dismissing an exemption, DOT noted that “the parties opposing the Norwegian UK application have raised a number of significant issues, in many instances directly overlapping the types of issues before us in the still pending proceeding involving the permit application of Norwegian Air International Limited (NAI).”

In April, DOT granted tentative approval to NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit. If that decision stands, NAI would be able to fly to and from the United States in direct competition with U.S. carriers on long-haul international routes. APA has been vocal in its opposition to both the Norwegian UK and NAI applications.

 “DOT rightly labeled the issues raised by Norwegian UK and Norwegian Air International as ‘novel and complex,’ but there’s nothing complicated about what’s intended by these carriers’ business models: to undercut the competition by scouring the globe for cheap labor,” said APA President Capt. Dan Carey. “If allowed, this flag-of-convenience approach to operating an airline would destroy hundreds of thousands of good, middle-class American jobs and decimate our nation’s airline industry. We therefore urge Congress to act swiftly by passing H.R. 5090.”

H.R. 5090 emphasizes the need to comply with the intent of Article 17 bis of the United States-European Union-Norway-Iceland Air Transport Agreement, which stipulates that “opportunities created by the Agreement are not intended to undermine labour standards or the labour-related rights and principles contained in the Parties’ respective laws” and that “these principles … shall guide the Parties as they implement the Agreement.”

“APA will continue to urge policymakers to act in the best interests of the hard-working, front-line employees of our nation’s airlines,” Carey said. “These men and women sacrificed greatly during the difficult period that followed the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and they deserve to share in the prosperity our industry is now enjoying, instead of having their career security compromised by flag-of-convenience schemes.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s website is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the world’s largest passenger airline.
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