Norwegian Air and Stewart Airport in Orange County New York have confirmed the airline will begin offering $69 one way introductory flights from Stewart International Airport, 60 miles North of Manhattan to Cork, Ireland. Prices will eventually be in the $300 range, close to half of the fares of major airlines on the route.
Service to Shannon and Dublin is expected to follow with services from a Boston region airport to follow.
“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 airline says they will have two Boeing 737s based at the airport and will be looking to hire 75 pilots and cabin crew based in the area.
Confirming the news and Stewart as the destination Louis Heimbach, the chairman of the Stewart Airport Commission and former Orange County executive, called it "great news," as it could pave the way for more service out of the airport. He was also speaking to lohud.com
"Hopefully many of these people coming as tourists or businesspeople might not have New York City as their destination," he said. "Maybe this will incentivize some domestic airlines to come and fly to more destinations from Stewart to other places in the country."
Heimbach told Lohud.com Norwegian was in the process of purchasing more planes from Boeing and that they would be maintained at Stewart.
“That’ll be some additional employment as well,” he said.
Travelers from New York can take Metro North to Beacon station and then take a shutttle run ironically by Leprechaun Bus Lines for the 20 minute trip from the Metro North station to the airport. Newburgh, the location for Stewart Airport is exit 17 off the New York State Thruway and about an hour’s drive from Manhattan but near the heavily Irish American areas such as Rye and Westchester, Putnam and Orange counties.
The airline says they will start with flights to Cork from the Port Authority-run airport outside of Newburgh, while exploring the possibility of adding routes to Shannon and Dublin, along with other European destinations.
Currently, Delta, JetBlue, American and Allegiant offer flights out of Stewart. Allegiant and JetBlue fly to Florida, while Delta flies to Detroit and American to Philadelphia.
Norwegian is also looking to add flights to Ireland out of an airport in the greater Boston area, though the airline spokesman would not confirm which.