Monday, November 20, 2017
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First Norwegian Passengers Arrive in Belfast

The first incoming flights of Norwegian's two new services to the US arrived this morning at Belfast International Airport.

The first aircraft was from Providence, Rhode Island/Boston followed an hour later by the service from Stewart International, New York.

This follows the launch of the two services last Saturday afternoon, when history was made with Norwegian's first flights taking off to the two never-before-seen routes on the USA's East Coast.

The picture this morning right shows Margaret Neeson from Dunadry welcoming her grandson Rory on his first visit to Northern Ireland on the flight from Providence, Boston.

Earlier this year Norwegian announced the brand new transatlantic flights from Northern Ireland to smaller airports of Stewart International and Providence on the US east coast, which offer good access into the New York, Boston and New England areas but carry significantly lower landing charges, allowing Norwegian to offer some truly affordable fares.

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “We are delighted to launch Northern Ireland’s only direct route to the US East Coast. Travel should be affordable for all so these new transatlantic flights offer more choice and lower fares that will allow as many passengers as possible to fly. We also look forward to welcoming thousands of American travellers into Northern Ireland over the coming weeks, ensuring our new routes also offer a huge boost to Irish tourism, business and hospitality.”

Norwegian’s new transatlantic flights are Northern Irelands first direct low-cost services to the US east coast. For passengers travelling to Stewart International, a new direct shuttle service into central New York City is now in place. The new service, operated by Coach USA, has been timed to meet Norwegian’s flight arrivals at Stewart Airport, allowing passengers to take a direct journey into central Manhattan.

For passengers flying to Providence Airport, a range of road, rail and bus links make Boston just 90 minutes away, with key New England areas such as Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard also within reach. Norwegian customers flying from Belfast who are members of its free-to-join loyalty programme, Norwegian Reward, can earn and spend CashPoints and receive rewards after every sixth flight which can reduce the cost of all Norwegian flights.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Air International (NAI) is considering direct flights between Dublin and Asia if it can secure permission for overflights across Russia, Chief Executive Tore Jenssen has confirmed. A likely destination would be China's capital, Beijing.

Mr Jenssen said that the runway at Dublin is a "little short" for a full 787 Dreamliner payload to Beijing or Bangkok, but added that this was not a significant issue. Dublin Airport has started building a new, longer runway it hopes to have operational by 2021.

"One of the challenges is overflight permits for Russia," he said, adding that there's no clear timeline in terms of when such a permit could be secured. "We have a bunch of 787s coming. It's a complicated process to get them into service, so we probably need a couple of years to plan it."


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