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EDITORIAL: Transatlantic flights milestone for Cork

Sunday, 5th March, 2017 5:00pm
EDITORIAL: Transatlantic flights milestone for Cork

CORK will have a direct scheduled transatlantic service to the US from July 1st next, which took a massive 56 years to achieve – all the way back to when the airport was first opened. Norwegian Air will be running three flights a week from Cork to Boston and back, although the airport they are landing at in the US is a bit away, in Providence, Rhode Island.

The fact that fares could be as cheap as €69 each way will make it more affordable, not only for Irish people going over, but for American people visiting here, which we hope will boost our tourism industry as they are landed at the eastern edge of West Cork. Targeted marketing needs to be undertaken to steer them our way.

Great credit must go to Cork Airport management for securing the Norwegian flights, as it proved a much more difficult struggle than they could have anticipated what with objections by the Air Line Pilots Association in the US to the licensing of the routes. Persistence paid off and, even though the flights will be starting a full year later than originally planned, they are still hugely welcome.

As with all routes, they won’t be sustainable if people don’t use them and other airlines have in the past closed down or curtailed services out of Cork Airport that were not being supported. It’s difficult to know if the Trump effect will make people wary of visiting the United States in the immediate future, but a lot of them will probably find it difficult to resist Norwegian’s low fares, hopefully at both sides of the Atlantic!