Norwegian Air will begin flights this summer from Cork, Shannon and Dublin to smaller US airports in the greater New York, Boston and New England areas with fares starting from €69.
It will be the first direct transatlantic service from Cork Airport to the US, writes Eoin English of the Irish Examiner.
Bjorn Kjos, the head of Norwegian, Europe's third largest low-fares airline, confirmed the launch of the long-awaited service from Cork to TF Green Airport in Providence, south of Boston at a press conference at Cork Airport this morning and promised to shake-up transatlantic travel with their ultra-low fares.
He also announced four weekly flights to the US from Shannon - two to Providence/Boston and to two to Stewart Airport, New York - and 12 flights a week from Dublin - daily to Stewart New York and five to Providence/Boston.
While record-low one-way fares of €69 are now available, the average return fare on the route is expected to average around €300.
“With the first ever transatlantic flights from Cork, we are shaking up transatlantic travel with ground-breaking fares and never before seen routes," Mr Kjos said.
"The cost of transatlantic travel has been too high for too long so by connecting Irish cities with smaller US airports, we can offer some truly affordable fares, allowing as many people as possible to fly.”
Mr Kjos said the three times weekly flights from Cork to Boston/Providence will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The flights will depart Cork at 4.20pm and arrive at TF Green Airport in Providence at 7.05pm.
Tickets have gone on sale immediately on the airline's website.
Norwegian is "explore options" for a service to the greater New York area from Cork, with expectations that it will be launched next year.
Today's announcement has been hailed as a game-changer for Cork Airport, which has finally landed the first direct transatlantic service in its 56-year history.
Airport managing director, Niall MacCarthy, said the announcement is not just about a new route - it also heralds low-cost transatlantic access from Cork.
"Norwegian will do for low-cost transatlantic services what Ryanair and others have done for low-cost European services," he said.
"On that basis, we are really thrilled with today’s news. Cork Airport, already the Republic of Ireland’s second busiest airport, is now also Ireland’s newest transatlantic airport."
The Cork-Boston/Providence route will be operated using new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Norwegian is the European launch customer for this state-of-the-art aircraft which offers a single-class economy cabin, and a longer range and greater seat capacity than existing single-aisle aircraft.
Hot and cold food options will be available to buy on-board.