Budget carrier Norwegian is claiming “huge support” for its Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI), which is awaiting approval from the US Department of Transportation for a foreign carrier permit.

NAI says it has received broad support from dozens of stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic and is looking forward to the DoT’s final order finalising its decision and serving the US market.

The transportation department issued an order proposing to grant a foreign air carrier permit to NAI on April 15 despite protests from US airlines over the impact of low-cost transatlantic flight competition.

Norwegian chief executive, Bjørn Kjos, said: “We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received, both here in the US and in Europe, including the Irish government.

“We are confident the Department of Transportation will approve Norwegian Air International’s application and we hope they will do so shortly.

“Approval of NAI will result in more US aviation sector jobs, enable Norwegian to expand its already large pool of American-based cabin crew, and deliver much needed competition and affordable fares to consumers on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as open up new transatlantic routes currently not served by any other airline.”

Roger Dow, president and chief executive of the US Travel Association, told the DoT: “NAI’s proposed service will improve competition along transatlantic routes, encourage greater travel to the U.S. from key European markets, and help the US achieve the administration’s goal of attracting 100 million international visitors by 2021.

“Flights to new destinations allow travel to better fulfill its role as a bridge of understanding between people and nations – surely one reason, even apart from the strong legal arguments, why the State Department believes that approval of the application is “in the foreign policy interests of the United States”.

Norwegian already operates a network of low fare flights between Gatwick and the US but wants to further expand its operations through its subsidiary in Ireland.