Norwegian Air gets surge of applicants

LONDON — Norwegian Air Shuttle said it has received more than 5,500 applications for 300 U.S.-based cabin-crew posts as the discount carrier recruits staff for an expanding fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes.

About 170 people have been offered jobs in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and New York, which the Fornebu-based airline serves from Scandinavia. Norwegian Air will also begin flying to New York and Los Angeles from London’s Gatwick Airport in July as the Dreamliner fleet grows from three to seven aircraft this year.

“Norwegian’s conditions are highly competitive,” Gunnar Martinsen, its human resources director, said Wednesday. Applicants include staff with experience at British Airways and United Airlines.

Norwegian Air aims to leverage the all composite 787’s lower operating costs to offer cut-price trans-Atlantic trips at a profit, where carriers such as Laker Airways have failed in the past. Glitches with the Dreamliner forced the company to delay peak-period flights over the winter holidays, sparking a backlash from customers and local media.

Norwegian entered long-haul flying from Scandinavia to New York, Ft. Lauderdale and Bangkok in 2013 and will add trips to Los Angeles, Oakland, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., this spring, in addition to the Gatwick services.

The airline is also committed to one of the most ambitious growth plans in the history of European aviation after ordering 222 Boeing and Airbus Group NV single-aisle planes worth $22 billion to grab sales in its main short-haul discount market.

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