Cork Airport has announced that from next year it will offer its first ever scheduled transatlantic flights to Boston and New York with the Norwegian Air International.

The airport has said the new routes will begin with a four to five times weekly Boston service in May 2016 with direct flights from Cork to New York following in 2017. Cork is Ireland’s second-busiest airport, and though passenger numbers have fallen heavily since its peak, it expects to return to growth within weeks.

The Managing Director, Niall MacCarthy said about the announcement “Cork Airport has long sought a service to the United States and we are thrilled that our customers will be able to fly direct from Cork to Boston next year, and that we’ll have flights to New York in 2017,”

“The addition of direct year-round connectivity to North America has long been a target for Cork Airport,” MacCarthy said, adding that the news was a major strategic boost for the region.

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos has 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.”

The airline plans to operate its new Cork transatlantic services with a narrow bodied Boeing 737-800 aircraft and the new Boeing 737MAX when it becomes available.

These are not the only new routes the airline will launch as a Cork-Barcelona service is also planned from May 2016. Several other routes were announced for Cork Airport along with these new transatlantic routes including direct CityJet flights to London City Airport scheduled to start on October 1. A new Aer Lingus flight route to Dusseldorf was also revealed and will begin next summer.

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