'Uncle Sam' at the start of Norwegian's flights from Shannon to the US in July Picture: Diarmuid Greene/True Media
BUDGET airline Norwegian has confirmed plans to expand its transatlantic services from Shannon to the United States.
Norwegian Air International is to expand its Boston and New York services to Shannon for 2018, a move that has been welcomed by the airport this Monday.
The airline, which commenced services at Shannon in July last year, is to double its frequency from two to four flights a week on its service to Providence Green Airport, Rhode Island, just over one hour from Boston.
In addition, it is adding an extra service to Stewart International Airport, Orange County – just 90 minutes from New York, increasing from two to three flights a week.
The extra services will kick-in from March 2018 and bring to seven the number of weekly scheduled services with Norwegian from Shannon, which had already seen its transatlantic offering is at its largest number for 17 years.
The budget carrier started the two new routes from Shannon to the US in July of last year, with Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos promising “more choice and lower fares for travel to the USA” as a result at the time.
Norwegian Chief Commercial Officer Thomas Ramdahl said this Monday: “Our new transatlantic routes from Ireland have made a strong start so we are delighted to add extra services at Shannon where our affordable flights to the US have proved particularly popular with passengers.
"These additional flights will give Irish passengers even more choice and are another important step in our plans for continued growth in Ireland.”
Welcoming the announcement, Andrew Murphy, Shannon Airport Managing Director, said: “This is excellent news for Shannon and excellent news for tourism on the Wild Atlantic Way and wider region that we serve. This announcement clearly demonstrates Norwegian’s commitment at Shannon and results in an increase of over 200% in capacity by the airline in 2018.”
Matthew Thomas, CEO of the Shannon Group, said it was significant that Norwegian has chosen to grow its passenger base at Shannon.
"This expansion further strengthens our long haul connectivity and Shannon’s position as a key transatlantic gateway. We will now have our largest number of US services in over 17 years, which is fantastic for the wider region and for transatlantic aviation generally. It also shows that the new model for low cost transatlantic flying is proving popular and complements our existing range of transatlantic carriers.
The flights will be operated by a B737 Max aircraft and will run Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday to Providence Green Airport and Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday to Stewart International Airport.