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TheStreet Open House

Ads in American Air's Charlotte Hub Are Aimed at Anthony Foxx

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Anthony Foxx, do you still read The Charlotte Observer?

The campaign to block Norwegian Air International from U.S. flying is coming to Charlotte, where the Air Line Pilots Association said it will mount an advertising and public awareness campaign.

One goal is to gain the attention of Foxx, who was Charlotte's mayor before he became Secretary of Transportation in 2013.

"The Charlotte component will focus on local aviation jobs, urging the people of Charlotte to stand with thousands of their neighbors who work in the aviation industry," ALPA said in a prepared statement.

"ALPA's advertisements about fighting for local jobs and urging DOT to deny the NAI application will be delivered through a number of different mediums -- including local radio, the Charlotte Observer's Web site, and other targeted online communities," the union said.

The major U.S. airlines and airline labor unions have various disagreements among themselves, but they are united in opposition to Norwegian Air International's request for a U.S. Transportation Department permit to expand U.S. service. American (AAL), Delta (DAL)and United (UAL) have jointly filed an objection with the DOT.

Norwegian currently operates flights to the U.S. under Norwegian registration, but it has relocated its long-haul operation's registration to Ireland and requires a new permit. Norwegian Air International would generally offer lower fares and, ALPA contends, lower compensation than U.S. carriers do.

Why Charlotte? "ALPA wants to remind Secretary Foxx, the former mayor of Charlotte and Senator (Kay) Hagan that North Carolina is home to 1,730 ALPA pilots and thousands more aviation workers," said ALPA spokesman Michael Robbins.

"These constituents have a lot to lose if Secretary Foxx grants NAI a permit, and Senator Hagan is an influential leader in Washington," the spokesman said said. "Therefore, ALPA wants to raise the question to both, 'Will you stand with North Carolina aviation workers and deny NAI?'"

A DOT spokesperson declined to comment, saying "We are in the midst of a contested proceeding." Hagan's office didn't respond to requests for comment. Robbins did not specify why he did not mention N.C. Sen. Richard Burr.

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