Following approval by the USDOT of the application for its Irish carrier, Norwegian Air International (NAI) to serve U.S. cities, Norwegian Group has announced that it will open two additional pilot and crew bases in the U.S. next year.
“In October this year, Norwegian announced it would open its first U.S. pilot base at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Now that we finally have our DOT approval for Norwegian Air International, I’m pleased to announce that we will also be opening a second and third pilot base in the U.S., and Norwegian will create at least another 150 new American pilot and cabin crew jobs in 2017,” said Bjørn Kjos, CEO and founder of the Norwegian Group.
“Norwegian is fully committed to growing its presence in the U.S. market, and that includes creating more American jobs. Not only do we have more U.S.-based cabin crew than any other foreign airline, we will soon also have more U.S.-based pilots than any other foreign airline. Norwegian is simply creating more American jobs than any other non-American airline, and we will continue to do so, just as we promised we would,” continued Kjos.
During its recent push to recruit more U.S.-based pilots, Norwegian says it “received almost 400 applications for a couple dozen available positions.”
Most of these applicants are currently employed with U.S. legacy carriers or are Americans pilots currently based in the Gulf region.
The airline will first hire 25 pilots for its base at Fort Lauderdale, and will start a second hiring round next Spring, in preparation for additional aircraft deliveries. The 25 pilots to be hired are sufficient to staff a 787 Dreamliner schedule, and are expected to begin their training process by March 17. The airline plans to base a second Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Fort Lauderdale airport later in 2017.
“I want to personally thank all the supporters who backed us and helped provide the real facts during this extended application process. Norwegian brings and will continue to bring large numbers of tourists and business travelers to the U.S., consequently boosting tourism, the local economy and supporting hundreds of thousands of American jobs in both the aviation and hospitality industries. With DOT’s approval, we will finally be able to open up the U.S. to Cork route, for instance, that we have all been waiting for. This is still the beginning of our U.S. expansion plans and we are committed to offer American travelers more affordable long-haul flights than any other airline,” said Kjos.
Expansion and Jobs Creation
The emphasis on jobs created by the approval could address any concerns which might arise as a result of this approval for the new administration of President-elect Donald Trump, who was left with the right to reverse the NAI decision within days of taking office, according to the order published by the Department on Friday.
While listing the benefits of the group’s services to the U.S., Norwegian has included the contribution of its Boeing 737 and 787 Dreamliner orders.
- Norwegian’s two new bases will initially require some 150 new hires in 2017
- Norwegian’s JFK base will have more than 300 long-haul cabin crew by year-end
- Norwegian’s FLL base is home to almost 200 long-haul cabin crew
- Earlier this year, more than 1,000 candidates applied for the 100 new cabin crew positions available
- Norwegian has more than 260 aircraft on order
- In 2017, Norwegian will take delivery of 9 Dreamliners, 6 Boeing 737-MAX and 17 737-800s
- Norwegian currently operates 118 aircraft
U.S. routes currently represent 10% of the Group’s schedule. Norwegian operates more than 450 routes to 150 destinations, of which 45 routes originate in the U.S., 37 of which are destined for Europe and 7 to the French Caribbean.