Cork’s US flights plan ‘unchanged' say Norwegian

Low-cost airline giant Norwegian says it still plans to launch the first transatlantic flights from Cork in May despite reports yesterday that it was deferring the service.

An airline spokesman said its position may have been ‘lost in translation’ after reports in a Norwegian newspaper suggested the launch was being deferred following an unprecedented two-year delay over the issuing of a foreign carrier permit by the US authorities. He said Norwegian is still awaiting clarification from the US on the foreign carrier permit application submitted by its Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International.

“So our position hasn’t changed,” he said.

Diplomatic efforts have been ramped up in recent weeks to break the deadlock over the granting of the licence. Defence Minister Simon Coveney said he has spoken to the US Ambassador about the issue and insisted that the Taoiseach is working on it too.

“We have an Open Skies agreement which should facilitate it so there are issues that need to be ironed out,” he said.

A major tourism strategy for Cork City and county will be launched at Cork Airport today. It is understood that targeting the US market is a key part of the plan.


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