Pilgrims to Knock Shrine will now be able to fly directly from New York to Ireland West Airport this year. 

The Irish Independent reports that the Aer Lingus flight will leave New York on Saturday, August 8 and return on August 16 with pilgrims able to visit the shrine and take part in the annual nine day public novena in honor of Our Lady of Knock.

The airport hopes to offer the Diocesan pilgrimage flight as a regular service.

"We hope this is an important stepping stone in securing regular transatlantic services for the region into the future and we look forward to welcoming our US visitors to the West of Ireland in 2015," said Ireland West Airport Knock chairman Joe Kennedy.

Archbishop Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, along with other members of the Archdiocese of New York, will take the Aer Lingus flight to Knock.

"It will be an honor for me to travel to the West of Ireland and open Ireland's national public novena....," said the Archbishop.

The service will make the first transatlantic flight to the West of Ireland in eight years. Flyglobespan, a low-cost Scottish carrier operated twice-weekly services from Knock to JFK and Boston in 2007, but the flights, which originated in Glasgow and stopped off at Knock enroute, were stopped after a season run. The airline shut down in 2009.