Cork airport to gain first transatlantic routes

Cork airport to gain first transatlantic routes

Cork airport is to gain its first transatlantic routes with low-cost carrier Norwegian planning to serve Boston and New York.

Between four and five flights a week are planned to Boston from next May, with a New York service to follow in 2017.

The new routes will be operated under Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International and form part of the airline’s plans for continued expansion in the UK and Ireland.

But the launch depends on approval from US authorities which have faced strong opposition from established carriers against Norwegian’s low fare plans.

Norwegian already runs low-cost long-haul flights from Gatwick to New York, LA, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Boston with fares starting at £149.

With a series of new generation Boeing 737 aircraft on order, Norwegian now plans long-haul services from Cork together with a route to Barcelona from May.

Routes from Cork to Boston and New York will be served by 737-800 and the new 737MAX for which Norwegian Air International will be Boeing’s European launch customer.

Plans for the new routes were confirmed today in a letter from Norwegian chief executive Bjorn Kjos to Ireland’s transport, tourism and sport minister, Paschal Donohoe.

Kjos said: “Norwegian is leading the way in offering affordable transatlantic travel and with the new generation aircraft we have on order, we now have exciting plans to offer low-cost flights from Cork to Boston in 2016 and Cork to New York in 2017.

“We are delighted to offer a long-awaited service from the US to Cork and the southern parts of Ireland which will create huge business, leisure and tourism opportunities. Our new Cork to Barcelona route is also an exciting addition to our growing network.

"This is only the beginning of our plans for new routes in Ireland but our expansion relies on the U.S. Department of Transportation finally approving Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign carrier permit.

“Only DoT approval for NAI will unlock the door for these exciting new routes, creating more competition, more choice and better fares for business and leisure passengers on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Cork airport managing director, Niall MacCarthy, said: “Cork airport has a robust hinterland with a well-developed industrial base and a fantastic tourism product.

“We’re sure there will be strong demand for these new transatlantic services from both business and leisure passengers.

“We look forward to working closely with Norwegian and our local partners to promote these new services and to grow passenger traffic at Cork.”


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