Cork Airport has warmly welcomed Friday’s decision by Norwegian to launch Cork’s first ever scheduled transatlantic services. Norwegian announced that it plans to operate a direct Cork – Boston service from next May and that it also intends to launch a new Cork – New York service in 2017. A Cork – Barcelona service is also planned from May 2016.
The new routes will be operated under Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) and form part of the airline’s plans for continued expansion in the UK and Ireland.
“Cork Airport has long sought a service to the USA and we are thrilled that our customers will be able to fly direct from Cork to Boston next year, and that we will have flights to New York in 2017,” said Niall MacCarthy, Cork Airport Managing Director. “The addition of direct year-round connectivity to North America has long been a target for Cork Airport, which has a robust business hinterland with a large cluster of US multinationals and a fantastic tourism product. This is great news for both Cork Airport and the region and is a major strategic boost for business and tourism.”
Bjorn Kjos, Chief Executive, Norwegian, 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 USA 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 US 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.”
The new short- and long-haul routes announced comprise:
- Cork to Boston service planned for May 2016 with four to five flights per week
- Cork to New York service planned for 2017
- Cork to Barcelona service planned from May 2016 with four to five flights per week
Norwegian, which is Europe’s third largest low-cost airline, is currently in talks with the US Department of Transportation about Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign carrier permit, which would open the way for further expansion and new routes.
The airline plans to operate its new Cork transatlantic services with a narrow bodied Boeing 737-800 aircraft and the new Boeing 737MAX when it becomes available.
Winning new business for Cork Airport is always a team effort, added Niall MacCarthy. “I would like to thank our regional stakeholders in the political, business and tourism spheres who have been working really closely with us over the last year to ensure Cork Airport returns to strong growth in 2016 and contributes as a catalyst for continued economic recovery throughout the region.”
News of Cork’s new transatlantic services comes in the wake of several other positive route announcements from Cork Airport in recent weeks. CityJet will launch a new 18 times per week service to London City Airport on 1st October and Aer Lingus will launch a new Cork – Düsseldorf route next summer. Aer Lingus has also increased frequency on its Cork – Tenerife route for this winter and Flybe has doubled capacity on its new Cardiff service.
“Cork Airport has been successful in winning new routes and additional flights in recent weeks and it is essential that all of these new services – and indeed all of our existing routes – are well supported in the region. We are continuing to seek out new opportunities with new and existing airline customers and we are confident of further passenger growth after 2016,” said Niall.
Norwegian, which was established in 1993, welcomed 24 million passengers in 2014. Last year it launched the UK’s only low-cost long-haul flights with routes from London Gatwick to four US destinations.
The airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world, with an average age of just four years. Norwegian currently operates a fleet of 100 aircraft and has orders for a further 250 new aircraft, including 100 new Boeing 737MAX aircraft.