2 June 2016
By Bryan Smyth
There is strong public support for Norwegian’s plans for low-cost transatlantic flights from Cork Airport, new polling released today has revealed.
Norwegian last year announced plans for low-cost flights from Cork Airport to Boston in 2016, followed by New York in 2017. The airline is also looking at further transatlantic flights from Shannon Airport in the future. Norwegian hopes to start transatlantic flights from Cork Airport later this year, once the U.S Department of Transportation has awarded a foreign carrier permit to the airline’s Irish-based subsidiary Norwegian Air International.
In new polling carried out by leading Irish research company Red C, a nationally representative sample of 1,004 adults aged 18+ across the Republic of Ireland were asked about their views on the planned new flights. The polling sample also included approximately 280 Munster residents.
Results from the Munster residents polled reveal that:
– 58% said they were aware of Norwegian’s plans for new US flights from Cork and Shannon
– 96% felt that it was important to have US routes from Cork and Shannon Airports
– 89% felt that a low-cost offering on transatlantic routes is needed in the Irish market
– More than three-quarters (82%) of Munster residents said that, if they were to fly to Boston or New York in the next 12 months, they would use Norwegian’s proposed services from Cork
The polling results across the broader nation-wide sample of 1,004 adults also revealed strong support throughout Ireland for the planned new flights. Results from the nation-wide polling across the Republic of Ireland reveal that:
– 86% felt that it was important to have US routes from Cork and Shannon airports, with 64% agreeing strongly
– 86% felt that a low-cost offering on transatlantic routes is needed in the Irish market, with 68% agreeing strongly
– More than half (56%) of all Irish residents polled said that, if they were to fly to Boston or New York in the next 12 months, they would use Norwegian’s planned services from Cork or Shannon
Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “Our plans for low-cost transatlantic flights from Cork have already received widespread support from the Irish Government, aviation authorities, airports and travel groups – this new polling now reveals that the new flights also have broad public support, with passengers keen to benefit from affordable, direct new routes.
“As we await a final decision from the U.S. authorities, this polling is a timely reminder that the views and needs of passengers should be put first. We are confident the U.S. Department of Transportation will approve Norwegian Air International’s application, creating new jobs, more competition and affordable fares to consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said: “The research carried out by Norwegian reinforces our long held view that transatlantic services will be a hugely positive asset to our route network at Cork Airport and there is a strong demand for these to start as soon as possible. Low cost transatlantic services from Cork will shake up the Irish marketplace and increase the choice, options and competition for consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.
“These new transatlantic services have been a long time coming and we’ve been working tirelessly with Norwegian as well as key stakeholders in Ireland, Europe and the U.S. to get the necessary U.S. Department of Transportation approval. We’d urge the U.S. authorities to make a positive announcement as soon as possible so these historic services to Boston and New York can finally become a reality.”
RED C interviewed a randomly selected and representative sample of 1,004 adults aged 18+ in the Republic of Ireland between the 23rd and 26th May 2016. Quotas were set and data weighted by age, gender, social class and region, based on the latest CSO projection to ensure the final sample is nationally representative of adults aged 18+ in the Republic of Ireland. The margin of error on the results is +/- 3%.