Norwegian to open two more American crew bases in 2017
The decision follows final approval of a foreign carrier permit for Norwegian Air International (NAI) by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
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. ■