MEP Deirdre Clune has written a strongly-worded letter to the CEO of airline Norwegian, asking him to reconsider the decision to axe the Cork-US flights next winter.
Last month the airline announced it was to axe the year-round link to Boston/Providence from October and operate for the summer only next year — March to October.
However, in the letter to Bjorn Kjos, whom the Irish MEP has met at the European Parliament and at Irish Aviation Authority meetings, Deirdre Clune has appealed for the Cork-Providence flights to be reinstated and to enable bookings as soon as possible for Summer 2019.
The Cork woman was actively involved in the political will and commitment to the transatlantic Norwegian Air flights from Cork
‘While I understand that airlines must make commercial decisions, I am actively reminding Norwegian Airlines, that the US strongly resisted the granting of the licence and yet it was through massive political and business support in the Munster region that supported the award of the licence, on the basis of a year-round flight transatlantic flights from Cork, as headlined by the airline,’ she said.
The Ireland South MEP had worked closely with officials at the US Department of Transportation, European Parliament and the EU Commissioner for Transport at the time, as well as the business community and aviation authorities over a period of 12 months in 2016 to support and drive forward the Norwegian Air and ensure a transatlantic route for Cork Airport.
A spokesperson said the decision to suspend flights during the winter period was due to ‘lower demand’.
Announcing the cuts, a spokesman for the airline said: ‘The services will continue through October and we will continue to assess our transatlantic route performance as we confirm the route schedule for next summer.’