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Cllrs express fears over delays to US flights permit

Wednesday, 3rd February, 2016 10:10pm

Story by Jackie Keogh
Cllrs express fears over delays to US flights permit

CONCERNS that the proposed transatlantic flights from Cork would be delayed indefinitely were expressed at a recent meeting of Cork County Council’s Western Committee.

The councillors had been unanimous in welcoming the first transatlantic flights into and out of Cork Airport when airline Norwegian proposed them last year. On that occasion, Sinn Fein Cllr Paul Hayes said he had even proposed a vote of congratulations to the management of Cork Airport on ‘landing’ the deal, which many regarded as ‘a game changer’ for the success of the airport.

But since the original announcement was made there has been little progress as attempts by Norwegian to get a permit from the US Department of Transportation to operate the proposed routes from Boston and New York have not been successful to date. 

At the Western Committee meeting held in Clonakilty, Cllr Hayes asked the members for their support in making representations to the Minister for Transport and the Taoiseach – calling on them to send a strong delegation to the US administration to resolve any outstanding issues.

‘These proposed transatlantic flights would have huge potential for the promotion of tourism and industry, particularly in West Cork, and would also provide Irish people with competitively priced flights to the US,’ he said.

Cllr Hayes said the Government was obligated to ‘work hard on behalf of the Cork region’ and to resolve any outstanding issues with the US unions, airline and political administrations. 

He said: ‘The Government must iron out the obstacles that are preventing this venture from going ahead.’