Lift off for budget US flights from Shannon with Norwegian

Low cost airline starts new services to Orange County and Rhode Island

Lift off for budget US flights from Shannon with Norwegian

Erica, Rhea and Cian Murphy from Castletroy with Andrew Murphy, Tore Jenssen and 'Uncle Sam' Aidan Fox at the start of the new services in Shannon Picture: Diarmuid Greene

SHANNON has hailed the start of new transatlantic services with budget airline Norwegian as a “major milestone” for the airport.

The budget carrier started two new routes from Shannon to the US this Sunday, with Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos promising “more choice and lower fares for travel to the USA” as a result.

The scheduled services with Norwegian Air International – four a week from from Shannon to Stewart International in Orange County and to Providence Green Airport, Rhode Island – mean Shannon’s transatlantic offering is at its largest number for 17 years.

The new services will provide additional transatlantic capacity this year of 40,000 seats, with 80,000 across 2018 when the flights operate year round for the first time, bringing transatlantic capacity at Shannon next year to over 550,000 seats.

“Shannon Airport is proud to welcome Norwegian Air International to Shannon. The launch of these two new US destinations is another major milestone for our passengers,” said Mary Considine, deputy CEO of the Shannon Group.

“The new services open up exciting opportunities for Irish people to explore amazing parts of the States and for US visitors to explore our Wild Atlantic Way. We look forward to working closely with Norwegian to ensure the success of the services, which we are confident will pave the way for many more great things to come.”

Mr Kjos said: "The launch of these new transatlantic flights is a significant milestone for Norwegian, Shannon Airport and most of all passengers who now have more choice and lower fares for travel to the USA.

“We are grateful for the huge support from across Ireland over the last three years and we are delighted to see everyone's hard work pay-off as our first transatlantic flights take to the skies this weekend."