Fake operational base to avoid more stringent regulations: a new trend?
Or the so-called “Flag of convenience”
In short: an airline of country X bases its crews and aircraft in country Y, where labour standards, taxes or regulations are less stringent than in its own country. This is what Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) has done, with the creation of two branches:
- Norwegian Air International (NAI), registered in Ireland, with crews supposedly based… in Bangkok! It operates flights from Europe to Thailand and also intra EU routes.
- Norwegian Long Haul (NLH), registered in Norway, with crews supposedly based in Bangkok. It flies to Thailand, the USA and intra EU routes.
A few months ago, NAI requested an AOC from the US, but the US Department of Transport decided not to grant it. We welcomed this decision and we hope that the European Union, which has highly supported NAI, will align its position with the US and adopt new rules to stop these unfair practices. For more information, you can read ECA’s Press Release and Press kit.