Norse Atlantic Airways to hire 700 U.S. flight attendants
Transatlantic startup carrier Norse Atlantic Airways and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA) have agreed to a pre-lease agreement for flight attendants based in the United States. The move, which will certainly help alleviate some concerns the US government has over the airline, puts the startup on track to hire at least 700 US-based flight attendants.
Norse Atlantic and CWA Announce Crew Agreement
The two parties have negotiated a pre-hire agreement for the flight attendants. The agreement is put in place to create a minimum of 700 flight attendant jobs in the United States. The agreement also lays the groundwork for flight attendants to be represented in AFA.
Norse Atlantic CEO Bjørn Tore Larsen said the following about the deal:
“We are delighted to enter into this agreement with AFA and proud to say from the outset that our airline puts people first.. Travelers will benefit from a low cost long haul option, but tickets will never be subsidized by our employees. We firmly believe that building an airline that respects the people who work for Scandinavians is the best way to ensure success. AFA has been a strong advocate for flight attendants and our airline will also benefit from working with this great union. This deal for flight attendant jobs gives us even more urgency to lock in all regulatory approvals to start operations as quickly as possible.
The agreement will have to be ratified and accredited by the union once the positions have been filled. According to the AFA, the contract includes “industry-leading starting salary and job protection, healthcare and a 401k among other key benefits.”
Norse Atlantic Airways encountered manpower issues
About two months ago, the chairman of the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio, called on the United States government to deny Norse Atlantic Airways permission to fly to the United States. Representative DeFazio’s concerns revolved around labor, arguing that the airline was seeking to ignore labor protections.
These concerns were similar to what Norwegian was accused of doing. Norwegian and the North Atlantic share some similarities. Norse Atlantic wants to offer low cost long haul flights between the United States and Europe. This is similar to what Norwegian has done, although Norwegian has decided to cut back on its long-haul operations.
Norse Atlantic will now have a big comeback on these allegations. Although details on the pilots have yet to be released, Norse Atlantic has previously said it plans to recruit flight crew members in the Americas. He has also shown that he does not try to prevent his employees from joining a union.
What happens after?
With that deal in hand, the airline is more likely to gain approval from the U.S. government. However, US airlines will certainly watch over this airline. With the demise of Norwegian’s long-haul operations, US airlines saw an opportunity. Many airlines on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly United, are optimistic about their ability to return long-haul international routes to Europe.
Norse Atlantic has signed an agreement with AerCap for the lease of nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The agreement covers three Boeing 787-8 and six Boeing 787-9. The airline has yet to reveal its routes and schedule, although it continues to move forward with a launch.
For now, Norse Atlantic will still need to get final regulatory approvals and hire to be operational. A launch in time for the summer is certainly out of the window. However, if things go well for the airline, it could kick in just in time for a sustained international recovery in late 2021 and into 2022.
Are you excited about Norse Atlantic Airways? What do you think of this announcement? Let us know in the comments!