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Norwegian operate three flights a week between Cork and Providence in the US. Pic: Brian Lougheed
Norwegian operate three flights a week between Cork and Providence in the US. Pic: Brian Lougheed
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Transatlantic flights prove popular from Cork

NEW transatlantic flights from Cork and other Irish airports were more than 90% full since they began in July with airline Norwegian saying they are very happy with sales so far.

Many of the flights between Cork and Providence were completely sold out last month.

"Our transatlantic routes from Ireland were extremely popular over the summer, with high load factors over 90% and many flights full," the airline said in a statement.

The airline began the first transatlantic route out of Cork on July 4 operating three flights each week to TF Green Airport, an hour from Boston.

A spokesperson for Norwegian added that their winter season routes from Cork and other Irish airports are also selling well.

Along with routes from Dublin, Belfast and Shannon Norwegian has opened the first round of an expected battle amongst airlines for low-fare transatlantic routes.

Norwegian had plans for a Cork to New York route but the airport's shorter runway means there is a limit to how much fuel an aircraft can carry on takeoff placing limitations on its range.

Norwegian recently took ownership of six new Boeing 737 Max aircraft and are testing their capabilities to see if the Cork to New York route can be made viable.

Asked about the potential of other airlines such as Aer Lingus to begin transatlantic flights from Cork given their success so far the spokesperson for Norwegian said they firmly believe in healthy competition among airlines.

"Norwegian’s new routes from Ireland have already proved popular and if other airlines choose to compete or copy our plans, that can only be a good thing for passengers who will benefit from more choice and lower fares than ever before."

Aer Lingus told the Evening Echo they have no plans to operate transatlantic flights from Cork saying they instead wanted to focus on their UK and European routes.

"Having increased our capacity to and from Cork in Summer 2017 we remain the largest airline operator at Cork Airport. Our current focus is on providing our four-star service to guests on the 22 UK and European routes that make up our Cork network."