Aviation history was made at Cork Airport with the departure of Norwegian Air International flight D81821 from Cork to Boston/Providence – the airport’s first ever scheduled transatlantic service.
The new transatlantic service will operate three times per week, linking the South of Ireland region to the Greater Boston, Rhode Island and New England areas. The long-awaiting opening of the new route will lead to greater travel, trade and tourism between the two regions.
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport, thanked the team at Norwegian for partnering on the long and hard journey to deliver the new direct transatlantic service from Cork to Boston Providence. “I would like to thank especially all of our stakeholders, on both sides of the Atlantic, who assisted us with their support to secure the granting of the licence.
“I also want to acknowledge the wider team here at Cork Airport, across our own and many companies, who work seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year, to deliver outstanding customer service to all of our passengers. I am proud to say that this great service from all our staff was recognised recently when Cork Airport won the ‘Best Airport in Europe’ award of its class at the Airport Council International Congress in Paris earlier this month.
“The official history of Cork Airport was last published in 2011 in a book entitled ‘Fifty Years Have Flown’. Today I am very proud to say that a new chapter can be added to that book and Cork Airport is now Ireland’s and Europe’s newest transatlantic airport. From today, you can now fly year-round, at low cost to the east coast of the USA direct from Cork Airport, with great value parking, a short walk from the terminal, and a very friendly, convenient service.
“The airport in Providence is a great facility with fast and efficient Customs and Immigration services and excellent transport connections. There is a direct train service from the airport itself straight to Boston in 90 minutes ($11.50) and Providence itself, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod are all within convenient reach.
“Even more importantly, thousands of US visitors can now land right here in Cork to start their journey on the Wild Atlantic Way and throughout Ireland’s Ancient East. Cork Airport is the only airport in Ireland connecting directly to both of these Irish tourism products. This will bring jobs, revenue and tourism growth directly to businesses and towns throughout the South of Ireland and grow our regional economy.
“With the chill winds of Brexit looming, tourism diversification is critically important to maintaining our strong regional economy and the USA is a key growth market for the South of Ireland now and going forward. Today is a historic day. I wish Norwegian every success, as together we open a new chapter in the history of Cork Airport.”
Bjorn Kjos, Chief Executive, Norwegian, said: “The first ever transatlantic flights from Cork are a huge milestone for the airport, Norwegian and most of all passengers who can now enjoy direct, affordable travel to the USA. These flights simply would not have been possible without the huge support of the Cork community over the last three years, so we are delighted to see everyone’s hard work pay-off as our first flights take to the skies this weekend.”
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland, said that the new Norwegian flight from Boston/Providence was “excellent news” for tourism to Cork and the South of Ireland. “We are delighted to co-operate with Norwegian and Cork Airport to maximise the promotion of this new service. As an island destination, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.
“Last year, we welcomed a record 1.6 million North American visitors to the island of Ireland, worth over €1.3 billion to our economy. Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America for 2017 as a market that offers a strong return on investment in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. We are confident that our strategy – combined with more airline seats than ever before from the USA, including this new Norwegian flight to Cork, as well as a strong dollar and the strength of the vacation experience around Ireland – will deliver further growth.”