Norwegian $69 flights from USA to Cork set to take off!

Read more: Norwegian announce 24 new flights at $72 fare to Cork, Shannon, Dublin, Belfast

It’s been a dream for the past 50 years and now, after months of intense negotiations, tickets to fly from the United States to Cork could be on sale in a matter of weeks. Initially, fares may be as low as $69 one way, although fares are expected to cost around $300 round trip eventually.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave Norwegian Air the go-ahead on Friday and now all that’s left is for the airline to sell their tickets to transatlantic travelers.

“With Department Of Transportation approval in place for some time, Norwegian’s focus has been on finalizing our plans for new routes, greater competition and lower fares in Ireland, Europe and the US,” a delighted airline spokesman told the Irish Examiner.

“We expect to announce new transatlantic routes from Ireland and the US soon.”

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos foresees “huge growth potential” in low-fare international flights.

“More people will start flying,” he said. “The fares go lower, but the volume goes much higher.

It’s expected that the first route to take off will land at TF Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island which is located some 60 miles south of Boston – roughly an hour’s drive. In Ireland Cork, Shannon and Dublin airports are all expected to eventually be used by Norwegian while is expected to serve the New York and Boston metropolitan areas.

The budget carrier’s application was stalled by the Obama administration for an unprecedented two and a half years due to strong opposition from US labor unions and 32 members of Congress who asked the then-President to veto the bid.

The European Commission warned the Federal Government it would be breaching the common legal agreement called “open skies” between the two jurisdictions and warned it could sue. The Department of Transport prevaricated and said the bid was “among the most novel and complex” they’d ever dealt with.

Finally, following lobbying from Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny last St. Patrick’s Day, the administration promised to have another look at the bid and a license was granted under the US-EU Open Skies agreement.

Labor unions asked President Trump to intervene at the last minute, but it soon became apparent that the deal also enjoyed the support of the Oval Office’s new occupant, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer briefing journalists that the White House considered the bid important for American jobs.

“With DOT approval in place for some time, Norwegian’s focus has been on finalizing our plans for new routes, greater competition and lower fares in Ireland, Europe and the US,” a delighted airline spokesman told the Irish Examiner.

“We expect to announce new transatlantic routes from Ireland and the US soon.”

It’s expected that the first route to take off will land at TF Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island which is located some 60 miles south of Boston.

A second route to Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, NY is mooted for 2018 and the airline hopes eventually to operate transatlantic flights out of Dublin, Shannon and Belfast as well.

The airline had previously said that it could slash ticket prices to a mere $69 for a one way trip in a bid to undercut rivals.

There are, however, no plans to bring US preclearance to Cork Airport, meaning travelers will still have to pass through immigration control when they land in the United States. Currently travelers can pass through preclearance in Shannon and Dublin – the only places in Europe to have such facilities – although due to President Trump’s travel ban the system is currently under urgent review.

Read more: Ireland Calling! Enter to win a trip for two to Ireland!

Interested in a job in finance? Search for roles in Ireland now