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Norwegian Air International (NAI) has welcomed a “long overdue” approval from the US Department of Transportation for its foreign carrier permit.

Several large US and European carriers had waged a two-and-a-half year battle to block the award, arguing that NAI’s Irish registration was a flag of convenience.

However, their case was dealt a major blow in April, when the DOT stated that the “NAI appears to meet DOT’s normal standards for award of a permit and that there appears to be no legal basis to deny NAI’s application”.

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British airline Monarch has undergone a tumultuous week that saw it first deny rumours of collapse; then negotiate a 12-day extension to its operating licence; and finally announce potentially the biggest investment in its history.

The scheduled and charter carrier – owner of MRO provider Monarch Aircraft Engineering – was rescued in 2014 by private equity firm Greybull Capital, which radically overhauled its business by scrapping long-haul flights in order to focus on the European market.

Despite returning to profit last year and predicting £40m pre-tax earnings for the current financial year, Monarch’s operating licence was only extended by the CAA over the weekend after Greybull promised extra funding.

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