Low-cost Norwegian Air will be starting their flights to Ireland from July, IrishCentral has learned. The announcement will be made in the next few weeks with last-minute details to work out.
In another development, Norwegian now looks likely to add Belfast to the list of airports served in addition to Shannon and Dublin. The service will fly first from Cork Airport.
Initial fares will be $69 one way, but fares will eventually settle in the $300 r/t range.
They will fly from Stewart Airport 60 miles north of Manhattan and from a smaller airport in the Boston area.
There appears to be three airports under consideration for the Boston area flights TF Green Airport in Warwick Rhode Island, Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., and Portsmouth International Airport in New Hampshire.
Norwegian told the Belfast Live site they will be in a position to confirm the Belfast destination in a few weeks.
A Norwegian Air spokesman stated: "We are working on plans for new transatlantic routes from Edinburgh and Ireland which we expect to announce in the coming weeks.
"As an ambitious airline with a huge aircraft order, we have made no secret of our plans to expand our long-haul network
“When we make the (formal) announcement, we will have an introductory announcement fare of $69 plus tax one way,” Anders Lindström, the director of communication for Norwegian Air in the United States told Lohud.com.
“We will be offering the most affordable transatlantic flights Americans have ever had.”
Lindström said the official announcement would be made shortly. Stewart Airport was chosen to cut costs.
“To operate the Boeing 737s … from a primary airport becomes much more expensive with a small aircraft type than a larger aircraft type due to limited passenger numbers,” stated Norwegian spokesman Lindstrom.
“These are the routes that will launch with $69 fares and have average return fares of $300 (to) $350, including taxes. In order to operate such flights profitably, they need to be served by medium-sized/smaller airports within the Greater Boston and NYC areas.”
The Irish News is reporting another airline may be looking at Belfast/New York. “British airline Jet2 is also currently listing a one-off return journey from Belfast to Newark from December 14 - 18, appearing to test the waters for the route’s potential public appeal,” they stated.
The United Airline Belfast to Newark route had existed, first with another airline since 2005 and it’s ending caused major disappointment in Belfast.