IT looks like the long-awaited plans for Cork-US routes could be a reailty soon, given the announcement tonight that Norwegian has been awarded a licence.
The US Department of Transport had been stalling on the issue of awarding the licence, due to strong opposition from powerful airline industry unions.
But tonight Cork South West FG Deputy Jim Daly welcomed the news and noted the decision had finally been made by the US government, to allow the airline to fly transatlantic from Ireland. It was announced tonight by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, during his visit to the US.
Norwegian had announced plans to fly from Cork to Boston and New York and the flights were initially intended to have started last May.
However, the plans were put on hold when the expected licence was not forthcoming to meet the deadline.
There has been widespread welcome tonight for the news, which is a great boost for Cork Airport and West Cork – giving the area a much sought-after direct link with the US.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed the decision, saying it was 'good for Cork, for connectivity, for investment, for tourism'.
'The new flights will bring more choice for passengers, and cheaper fares,' she told The Southern Star.