The US Department of Transportation granted Norwegian permission today to operate transatlantic services between Ireland and the United States. The services have been on the cards for a couple of years however it has been blocked until now. Intense lobbying from the airline, the Irish Government and other stakeholders has now been successful.

Norwegian will fly from Cork Airport in southern Ireland to Boston. Cork is the third busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland after Dublin and Shannon and this will be the first transatlantic service from the city. The airport is currently served by Aer Lingus, Ryanair and FlyBe with other airlines operating seasonal services.

Low Cost Shake Up

The market between Ireland and Boston is healthy. Aer Lingus serve the city from Dublin and Shannon three times daily. In 2017, US major Delta will enter the market from Dublin adding another option to the mix. Cork residents currently travel to Dublin or Shannon for their flights to Boston. Norwegian’s direct connection could capture some of this market reducing demand for the existing services.

Alternatively Norwegian will create its own low cost market. Irish consumers are long used to low cost air travel with Ryanair so the market will accept long haul low cost flights. Low cost long haul is already available to Irish consumers with Iceland’s WOW Air connecting Ireland and the USA via Reykjavik and Air Canada Rouge linking Toronto.

Overall Thoughts

The entry of Norwegian in the market from Cork will be one to watch. Hopefully the service will create its own low cost market which will grow overall passenger numbers across the Atlantic. There is also the possibility that people will switch to using Cork and Norwegian instead of the current flights which could impact their viability. Time will tell! Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.