ON Tuesday, the first passengers to fly directly on a scheduled service from the United States to Cork Airport, landed to provide a boost for tourism in the south west region.
The new transatlantic service will operate three times per week, linking the south of Ireland region to the Greater Boston, Rhode Island and New England areas. The long-awaited opening of the new route took place on Saturday last, July 1st, with the departure of Norwegian Flight D81821 from Cork to Boston-Providence
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Niall MacCarthy, managing director of Cork Airport, thanked the team at Norwegian for partnering on the long and hard journey to deliver new direct transatlantic service from Cork to Boston Providence. ‘I would like to thank especially all of our stakeholders, on both sides of the Atlantic, who assisted us with their support to secure the granting of the licence,’ he added.
‘I also want to acknowledge the wider team here at Cork Airport, across our own and many companies, who work seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year, to deliver outstanding customer service to all of our passengers. I am proud to say that this great service from all our staff was recognised recently when Cork Airport won the “Best Airport in Europe” award of its class at the Airport Council International Congress in Paris earlier this month.’
Mentioning that the official history of Cork Airport, Fifty Years Have Flown, was published in 2011, he said: ‘Today I am very proud to say that a new chapter can be added to that book and Cork Airport is now Ireland’s and Europe’s newest transatlantic airport. From today, you can now fly year-round, at low cost to the east coast of the United States of America direct from Cork Airport, with great value parking, a short walk from the terminal and a very friendly, convenient service.
‘The airport in Providence is a great facility with fast and efficient Customs and Immigration services and excellent transport connections.
There is a direct train service from the airport itself straight to Boston in 90 minutes (.50) and Providence itself, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod are all within convenient reach.
‘Even more importantly,’ Mr MacCarthy added, ‘thousands of US visitors can now land right here in Cork to start their journey on the Wild Atlantic Way and throughout Ireland’s Ancient East. Cork Airport is the only airport in Ireland connecting directly to both of these Irish tourism products.
‘This will bring jobs, revenue and tourism growth directly to businesses and towns throughout the south of Ireland and grow our regional economy,’ he predicted.
Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: ‘The first ever transatlantic flights from Cork are a huge milestone for the airport, Norwegian and most of all passengers who can now enjoy direct, affordable travel to the USA.’
Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons also welcomed the new Norwegian flight from Boston-Providence, saying it was ‘excellent news’ for tourism to Cork and the south of Ireland.