ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Discount carrier Norwegian Air has begun twice weekly flights between Oslo and Orlando. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer believes the new service will bring an estimated $32 million in economic impact.
"Getting more direct flights into Orlando is important to our tourism community," said Dyer.
He said it will also be a new era for flights in and out of Orlando International Airport.
"The service with Norwegian Airlines is the first 787 Dreamliner to have service here in Orlando."
There may be a bigger impact for Orlando residents though, cheaper flights in and out of Europe. We priced a flight to France in early September and found round trip prices between $1,000 and $1,200 on traditional travel websites. Norwegian Air was offering the trip for $695 round trip.
The airline may run into some trouble with the nation's biggest pilots union. Michael Robbins with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said the current flights in and out of Orlando are just fine since they are run by Norwegian Air's regular service.
"There's room for everyone, and we certainly have no problem with that."
What the ALPA does have a problem with is the effort by Norwegian to set up a separate company operating out of Ireland with a different set of rules and safety standards than the operation run out of their home country. Michael Robbins says the ALPA will fight any effort to allow what is called the Flag of Convenience(PDF) airlines, saying it endangers jobs and passenger safety.
"Norwegian that's flying to Orlando now is a completely different model, business model than what would be flying in the future should the United States allow Norwegian Air International, a different airline to fly to the United States."
With 787s now landing in Orlando, Mayor Buddy Dyer isn't worried about the potential of labor unrest down the road.