Norwegian Air has announced it will be launching thrice weekly flights services to Stewart International Airport in Orange County, New York, which is just 70 miles north of Manhattan. The airline will also be adding a second direct service to Green Airport, Providence, which is only 90 minutes drive from Boston. The twice weekly flights would be launched during summer schedule in July 2017. Both the destinations will be served from Belfast. The move of Norwegian Air has come only six weeks after United Airlines stopped flying
between Belfast and Newark Liberty.
Graham Keddie, Managing Director of Belfast International Airport, said, “Extensive talks were being conducted with Norwegian Air and government agencies for getting flights started from Belfast. There was a dire need for re-connecting Northern Ireland with USA. Direct air connectivity was also necessary to expand the tourism sector in Northern Ireland and attracting new investments.”
Keddie further remarked, “It is good news that Norwegian Air with its one of the youngest fleets in aviation industry has finally decided to launch flights to New York and Boston from Belfast. The market is already established here and we were vigorously working for reinstating service to New York. We are also happy to say that securing a service to Boston is nevertheless the icing on the cake.”
Travel experts said that the links between Belfast and Boston are quite close. There is a vast potential to make significant gains from the untapped tourism market in the region. Belfast stands to gain immensely as American travelers are among the top five tourism spenders. If the access to Belfast is expanded and smoothened then restaurants, hotels and visitor attractions are going to prosper.
Bjorn Kjos, Chief Executive of Norwegian Air, said, “The company is going to shake up the transatlantic travel once again. The airline is going to launch routes that have so far remained unheard of. To top it all, this would be in addition to offering low fares as always. It is expected that the new service to both the destinations in the United States are going to attract the customers.”