Almost two years ago, Norwegian Air International made an application with the US department of transport to start transatlantic flights between the two countries, but is still awaiting approval.
Independent councillor Alan Coleman, who is part of a council delegation to Boston, said last night that he and his colleagues were planning to use their time there to get the flights over the line.
He said it was important to secure political support for the move from powerful contacts the council had made on the American west coast.
“The creation of the flights is meeting opposition from the powerful US pilots’ union and competitor airlines,” he said.
Cllr Coleman, who is chairman of the council’s special purposes committee on tourism, said they would try to “secure political support from the mayor of Boston, the governor of Massachusetts, and Irish-related connections on the ground”.
“It is a priority that we get this transatlantic connectivity to Cork for the commercial and tourism benefit it will bring to the county and the region,” he said.
The airline company says its application is the longest ever waiting for licence approval from the US Department of Transport and that until it is approved it won’t be in a position to release information on fare costs or scheduling.
If the carrier permit is signed off on, the new long-haul route from Cork to Boston will be serviced by B737-800 aircraft, with the proposed Cork to New York serviced by the new B737MAX aircraft.
Mayor of County Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea, who is also on the trip, confirmed yesterday that he had got a $7,500 (€7,067) donation from Irish American Partnership for three secondary schools in Mallow.
Davis College, Patrician Academy, and St Mary’s Secondary School are each to receive a donation of $2,500 from the organisation, founded to organise Irish American support on behalf of job creation, education, and economic development in Ireland.
“This is an extremely kind gesture from the directors of the Irish American Partnership, something in which I am very proud and honoured to receive on the school’s behalf. I want to pay a particular thanks to the family of the late Tip O’Neill, who arranged this donation,” he said.