Burson-Marsteller’s Prime Policy Group is guiding Norwegian Air Shuttle’s regulatory push for route expansion in the U.S.

norwegianThe Wall Street Journal ran a positive story Jan. 20, quoting NAS CEO Asgeir Nyseth saying critics of the growth plan are “just afraid of competition.”

The carrier, which already operates trans-Atlantic flights from New York and Fort Lauderdale, wants the Department of Transportation Dept.’s okay to add Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando to its system.

Using an Irish subsidiary, NAS would staff the flights with crews from low-cost countries to sidestep Norway’s labor laws.

That measure, according to the WSJ, would “set a precedent for airlines to use shipping-style ‘flags of convenience’ to cut costs.         

The Air Line Pilots Assn., a key opponent of the Norwegian carrier’s plan, called the scheme an illegal one that promotes a “race to the bottom.”

PPG is working the DOT for NAS as subcontractor to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman law firm.

CEO Scott Patrick and directors Becky Weber, one-time executive assistant to the late Howard Paster, WPP’s executive VP for PA and government relations; and Stefan Bailey, aide to West Virginia Congressman/House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee ranking member Nick Rahall.