Dirt-cheap flights to Europe are now a reality

Posted February 24, 2017

Norwegian Air is the second transatlantic carrier to expand to Bradley in the past year.

Norwegian is betting that Stewart is near enough to New York City and northern New Jersey to lure budget-minded travelers, while Providence and Hartford would draw suburban Bostonians and CT residents.

Stewart International will be the arrival point for New York City. We have all this in place so we can offer the lowest fares.

With a return fare costing €138, the cost is about one-third of the average fares now offered by the likes of Aer Lingus, American, Delta and United. It does not include extras such as checked bags, meals and seat selection, however.

All the same, the new record-low fares are another big coup for an airline that, together with Icelandic rival Wow Air, has carved out a niche for itself in rolling out the low-cost model to long-distance flights.

The approval allows Norwegian to operate seven Boeing 737-800s at Stewart International Airport, the T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island and the Bradley International Airport in CT.

More than 7,500 passengers took Aer Lingus to and from Bradley in the last four months of 2016, according to airport statistics.

Norwegian Air Shuttle is Europe's third largest low-priced carrier, and the second-largest airline in Scandinavia in terms of passenger numbers. It offers one-stop transatlantic services to a range of North American destinations, including NY from €159.99 each way.

The flights will head to three destinations on the USA east coast, it will also focus on smaller American airports as the landing fees are much cheaper which is why the firm were able to sell tickets at a lower price than usual. Critics, led by U.S. airlines and their unions, believes this allows NAI to take advantage of Ireland's employment laws, which are significantly less stringent than Norway's.

Norwegian is billing its new flights, which go on sale at 6 a.m. today, as the cheapest non-stop trans-Atlantic flights ever.

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Norwegian's move creates the first year-round worldwide flights for the Rhode Island airport after years of expanding runways, building hotels and making a commuter-train connection. "We're pleased to demonstrate results with the addition of important routes like this one and to continue facilitating convenient business and leisure travel from Bradley". That could mean additional frequencies and other European routes.

The Minister for Housing Simon Coveney described the launch of transatlantic flights from Cork as momentous.

Routes will be operated on new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with a single economy class.

CEO Niall Gibbons says they're critical for achieving growth in inbound tourism.

Norwegian originally intended launching services from Cork and Shannon previous year, but a delay in getting approval from the U.S. authorities prevented this. "It's a matter of when we get the aircraft and have enough to increase service".

US Congressman Peter de Fazio had claimed it was attempting to use Ireland as "a flag of convenience" - a claim dismissed as totally incorrect by NAI. NAI is one of several subsidiaries operating under the Norwegian banner. "At JFK we're just a small airline and many won't notice that we are there". "When that's in place, we'll be able to fly further into Europe".

Norwegian Air's network expansion in the US was approved by the Obama Administration, but has been protested by established USA airlines including American, United, and Delta.

"We now have 500 United States based cabin crew and are the only foreign airline to be recruiting American pilots, all of which are hired under local laws and regulations with competitive packages". "We don't pay for what everybody else on the plane wants", said Norwegian Air's spokesman, Anders Lindström, of the fares. NAI's will be its first-ever scheduled transatlantic services.

Norwegian flies 30 million passengers a-year to more than 140 destinations.