BY KIERAN O’MAHONY
‘WITH half of Bantry in Boston,’ a West Cork councillor has called for the immediate re-instatement of flights operated by Norwegian from Cork to Providence.
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) – who raised the issue under any other business at a recent meeting of the local authority – called on the executive to write to the head of Cork Airport to request an explanation as to why passengers now have to travel to Dublin Airport to fly out to Providence.
‘I got a text from a lady over in the States who came over last year to the West Cork region for a few days and they really enjoyed it,’ said Cllr Collins.
‘They were hoping to do the same this year and then they were told they have to fly to Dublin. This is a drastic issue for Cork county. We were led to believe that these flights would once again be back this year.’
Cllr Collins said that half of Bantry was in Boston and that these flights into Cork made it easier for them to come home especially during the summer months.
‘As a Council, we should be writing to the airport to say that we need these flights back for tourism and business,’ he added.
Back in March, Norwegian announced that its flights from Cork to Providence for a period in April would go from Dublin instead and passengers would be bussed up.
The airline had been forced to make alternative arrangements when it chose to ground the aircraft originally scheduled to fly the route. Aviation authorities had grounded all Boeing’s 737 Max around the world after the model was involved in two separate fatal crashes. However it now appears that there will be no flights to Providence from either Cork or Shannon airports indefinitely.
A statement from Cork Airport said that a Norwegian spokesperson has previously expressed their regret that due to the grounding of all Boeing 7373 Max aircraft by the European aviation authorities.
‘Their flights to and from Cork and Shannon airports have been suspended for this summer and they are operating at reduced frequency from Dublin Airport until further notice.
‘Customers travelling to and from Cork and Shannon are being accommodated on different aircraft types through Dublin to ensure travel plans can continue with minimal disruption and Norwegian has sincerely apologised for the inconvenience caused.’
A Norwegian spokesperson said that customers are advised to arrange bus or rail travel to Dublin and can claim for their expenses with proof of receipt.’‘Alternatively, customers have also been given the chance to rebook or receive a refund free of charge and we would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.’