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Minister Flanagan welcomes US decision which will allow Cork-Boston fights


Minister Flanagan welcomes US decision which will allow Cork-Boston fights

• A significant boost to Cork airport and the southern region

• Will strengthen Ireland’s links with Boston and New England

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan, TD, has welcomed today’s announcement by the US Department of Transport to issue a Foreign Air Carrier permit or licence to Norwegian Air International 9NAI). This will allow NAI – which is an Irish-registered company, wholly owned by the Norwegian Air Group – to commence flights between Cork and Boston.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister Flanagan said:

“The Government strongly supports the Open Skies policy and this new travel option for travellers. I raised this application with the US authorities on a number of occasions, including with Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, in Tipperary on 30 October last.

“This new route will strengthen Ireland’s links with Boston and New England, and represents a further significant boost to Cork Airport and the southern region. I look forward to NAI flights commencing between Cork and Boston at an early date.

“I also commend the commitment of Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States – Anne Anderson – and her Embassy colleagues, who worked assiduously in support of the granting of this licence. I am delighted to see that all of our efforts have borne fruit.”

Press Office
02 December 2016


Note for Editors

Since the end of the Second World War the United States has been the main driver behind the development of international civil aviation. The US’s open skies policy in the 1970s and 80s inspired the European Union to adopt similar policies, which ultimately led to the EU-US Open Skies Agreement in 2007.

The Norwegian Air Group is the third largest low-cost airline in Europe, behind Ryanair and Easyjet, and the ninth largest European airline overall. In 2013 the Group applied for an Irish airline licence and certificate for a subsidiary Irish airline called Norwegian Air International (“NAI”). Norway is fully integrated into the Single European Aviation Market and under single market rules a Norwegian-owned company can apply to set up an airline in any EU Member State. In February 2014 NAI was granted an Irish Air Operator’s Certificate by the Irish Aviation Authority and an Irish Air Carriers Operating Licence by the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

In order to operate to the US, non-US airlines require a Foreign Air Carrier permit from the US Department of Transportation (DoT). NAI applied to the DoT for a permit in December 2013.

On the 15th of April 2016 the DoT published a tentative decision to grant NAI a foreign carrier air permit. Both the Irish Government and the European Commission very much welcomed this decision.

The EU Commission has been supportive of NAI from the outset. In its view the type of innovative competition that NAI offers in the transatlantic market is precisely what the 2007 EU-US Open Skies Agreement was designed to encourage, in the best interests of consumers.