Norwegian airline considers secondary US airports for Cork link

The airline poised to launch low-cost flights from Ireland to America next summer has confirmed it is considering landing at secondary US airports — each up to 100km from Boston and New York, respectively — to keep costs down.

It follows reports from the US earlier this week that Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI), which finally secured regulatory approval last week to fly from Ireland to the US, is no longer considering Boston’s main airport, Logan International, for its direct Cork to Boston service using a Boeing 737.

Norwegian already operates a Boeing 787 Dreamliner out of Logan on its London route.

But the airline said the cost of operating a single-aisle 737, which carries 150 fewer passengers than the Dreamliner, from a main US city airport on the proposed Irish routes would be much more expensive given that the smaller aircraft type limits passenger numbers.

Aviation industry sources reported earlier this week that NAI’s parent company, Norwegian, is set to choose between New Hampshire’s Portsmouth International Airport and TF Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island for NAI’s Cork to Boston flights.

Portsmouth International Airport, also known as Pease International, is about 60 miles (nearly 100km), or an hour’s drive north of Boston.

It served as a hub for Pan Am from 1998 until 2005, and it was once one of seven launch abort sites, and one of 18 emergency landing sites, for Nasa’s space shuttle.

Green Airport in Rhode Island is about a 60-mile, 70-minute drive south of Boston.

It has also been reported that Norwegian has opted to establish NAI’s New York base at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, New York — 60 miles north of Manhattan — rather than at the larger New York City airports.

A spokesperson for the airline said it was too early to comment on which US airports it will use on the direct Cork-US routes.

But he confirmed that secondary airports are being looked at.

“A number of airports are being looked at while we finalise our plans but secondary airports in the US present us with an opportunity to offer some truly ground-breaking fares to passengers in Ireland and the US.”

The airline hopes to offer introductory price offers of around €69 one-way, with normal fares expected to be in the region of around €160 one-way, and around €300 return.


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