Low-cost carrier Norwegian is to launch flights from Cork to Boston next year.
The airline intends to begin flying from Cork to Boston three times a week from next April.
Norwegian said it will offer “four to five flights per week” from May.
The carrier also plans to launch flights from Cork to Barcelona around the same time, followed by a New York service from 2017.
Norwegian will serve the transatlantic routes with B737-800 and B737MAX aircraft – the carrier is the European launch airline for Boeing’s next-generation MAX version of the B737.
The use of the narrow-bodied aircraft on non-stop transatlantic services is rare, but not unheard of. Budget Canadian carrier Westjet flies from Halifax to Dublin and Glasgow, while SAS is set to launch B737 services between Copenhagen and New York next month (albeit in a reconfigured aircraft with just 66 economy and 20 business class seats).
The new routes will be operated under Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International Ltd.
In a letter from Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos to Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, Kjos said:
“We are delighted to offer a long-awaited service from the US to Cork and the southern parts of Ireland which will create huge business, leisure and tourism opportunities. Our new Cork to Barcelona route is also an exciting addition to our growing network.
“This is only the beginning of our plans for new routes in Ireland but our expansion relies on the US Department of Transportation (DoT) finally approving Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign carrier permit.”
In July Norwegian announced plans to fly from Gatwick to Boston from May next year (see news July 9), adding to existing services from the London airport to New York JFK, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale.
Regional carrier Cityjet is also set to launch flights from Cork to London City next month, with an 18 times per week service starting on October 1 (see news July 3).