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Travel Agents

 January 29, 2014
Travel Tech Announces Support of Norwegian Air's Application For U.S. Expansion

 The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech), which represents leaders in the online travel industry, announced today that it had filed a statement with the U.S. Department of Transportation supporting Norwegian Air International's application for a foreign air carrier permit. Granting the application would benefit consumers by providing additional low-cost options for travel to and from the US while creating jobs, and improving travel and tourism economies.

"Norwegian Air's U.S. expansion is welcome news for consumers looking for low-cost transatlantic flight options," said Steve Shur, President of Travel Tech. "Travel Tech supports consumers having more options, and in particular, more low cost options. When more people travel, everyone benefits, from the suppliers to the communities where these travelers visit. We urge the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve the application so economies on both sides of the Atlantic can benefit from increased air travel."

Travel Tech's filing supported Norwegian Air International's application on five primary grounds:

- Competition Benefits Consumers: Increased competition from foreign low cost carriers is good for consumers and good for travel and tourism economies.
- Economic Boon for U.S. Economy: Norwegian Air is purchasing $11.4 billion in aircraft from American companies and will bring hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists to the United States.
- Job Creation: The approval of Norwegian Air's application will create thousands of direct and indirect U.S. jobs.
- Consumer demand is driving the expansion of service to U.S.: The world marketplace for travelers is expanding and the U.S. should take advantage of this growth.
- Rejection of the application is inconsistent with Open Skies Agreement's spirit, intent and history: Open Skies Agreement was created to foster growth in international travel.

Travel Tech's members are the world leaders in online travel. Comprised of online travel agents (OTAs) and global distribution systems (GDSs), Travel Tech's member companies are on the front lines of travel and tourism and recognize the great benefit that affordable travel brings to consumers, suppliers, and the travel and tourism economy. Today, approximately one third of all air travel is booked through an OTA and nearly all air bookings touch a GDS at some point in the booking and traveling process.