US House Committee adds foreign airline provision to FAA bill

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed June 28, 2017 14:48

US House Committee adds foreign airline provision to FAA bill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has agreed to add a provision dealing with foreign airlines to a bill governing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which would prohibit the transportation secretary from approving any foreign airline service to the U.S. if the carrier is established in a country other than its majority owner.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., sponsored the provision with the top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon.

If passed, the provision would prohibit approvals such as the one granted by the Transportation Department for Norwegian’s application to serve the U.S. Norwegian was accused during the three-year improvement process of circummuring labour laws and wages regulations by setting up a “flag of convenience” in order to save money and undercut competition – an allegation Norwegian strongly denies, maintaining that it is bringing much-needed competition to the US airline market.

Jonathan Grella, the US Travel Association’s executive vice president for public affairs has agreed that the provision will cut choice for consumers and undermine US Open Skies agreements.  “Currently, very few of these carriers serve the U.S., and this amendment limits the ability of any new competitors to establish direct international flights here,” he said, “This amendment directly undermines our country’s Open Skies agreements, and risks millions of American jobs by hampering efforts to make our aviation market more competitive and give flyers more choices.”

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed June 28, 2017 14:48