NEW YORK (DECEMER 3, 2016) – Norwegian, the World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline and Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline, announces it will open two additional pilot and cabin crew bases in the United States next year. The decision follows yesterday’s final approval of a foreign carrier permit for Norwegian Air International (NAI) by the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
“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.
“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.
In October, the airline announced its plan to recruit and hire American pilots for its first pilot base in the U.S. As the only non-American airline currently recruiting U.S.-based pilots, Norwegian received almost 400 applications for a couple dozen available positions. Most of the applicants hailed from U.S. legacy carriers or were Americans pilots based in the Gulf region. The airline will initially hire 25 pilots – enough to staff one Boeing 787 Dreamliner – for its base at Fort Lauderdale. Once these candidates begin training in March 2017, Norwegian will start the second hiring round in preparation for additional aircraft deliveries. The airline plans to base a second Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Fort Lauderdale airport later in 2017.
In mid-2017, Norwegian will become the European launch-customer of the Boeing 737-MAX. The new aircraft type will operate transatlantic flights from the Northeastern United States to parts of Europe and open up a plethora of routes and destinations currently not served from the U.S. over the next few years. At least four of the Boeing 737s will be based in the Greater New York City area and the Greater Boston area next year, and Norwegian will be hiring almost 100 new pilots and cabin crew in the Northeast to staff these aircraft.
- 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
- In 2016, Norwegian will have served more than 30 million customers, compared to 26 million in 2015
- The airline operates more than 450 routes to 150 destinations
Norwegian currently offers a total 45 routes from the U.S.; 37 of which are to Europe and seven are to the French Caribbean. Upcoming 2016 routes launches from the U.S. include: Las Vegas to London (October 31); Las Vegas to Oslo (November 1); and Fort Lauderdale to Guadeloupe (December 17). Route launches from the U.S. for 2017 include: Oakland/San Francisco to Copenhagen (March 28); Los Angeles to Barcelona (June 5); New York/Newark to Barcelona (June 6); Oakland/San Francisco to Barcelona (June 7); and Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona (August 22). Earlier this week, Norwegian also announced a new route from Orlando to Paris, launching on July 31, 2017.
Norwegian is the world’s sixth largest low-cost airline and carried 30 million passengers in 2016. The airline operates 450 routes to 150 destinations in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Thailand, Caribbean and the U.S. Norwegian has a fleet of 120 aircraft, with an average age of 3.6 years, making it one of the world’s youngest fleets. Norwegian was named the Most Fuel-Efficient Airline on Transatlantic Routes by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Norwegian was named the World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards in 2015 and 2016, and for the fourth consecutive year, named Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline. Norwegian employs 6,000 people. The airline offers 40 nonstop routes from the U.S. to London, Paris, Scandinavia and the Caribbean. Follow @Fly_Norwegian on Twitter, join the discussion on Facebook and keep up with our adventures on Instagram. For more information on Norwegian and its network, visit norwegian.com.