1. ITV Report

Flights to US from Belfast to take off

Credit: Norwegian

Low-cost airline Norwegian Air has announced that it will fly to both the New York and Boston areas from Belfast International Airport, starting this summer.

There will be three flights a week to Stewart International in Orange County, New York State from the 1st of July.

They will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays all year round.

Stewart International Airport is located around 70 minutes from Manhattan in New York City.

The airline will also fly twice a week to Green Airport, Providence, which is approximately 90 minutes south of Boston. This route will only operate during the summer months.

The confirmation of the new routes comes just weeks after United Airlines ended its service to Newark Airport.

Graham Keddie, Managing Director of Belfast International Airport, said, “It was vitally important for Northern Ireland to re-connect with the United States of America. Without a direct air link, the job of attracting new investment and expanding Northern Ireland tourism would be a lot harder.

“Now, Norwegian, which has one of the youngest fleets in the business, has stepped up to the mark. There is an established market and re-instating a New York service was the main objective. Securing Boston was the icing on the cake!

“Both symbolically and from an economic standpoint, the New York link is the best possible boost for Northern Ireland."

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, also welcomed the news.

"As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.

"Tourism Ireland is committed to working with Norwegian, as well as with Belfast International, through co-operative marketing, to drive demand for these new flights," he added.

Norwegian Air will use a new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for the services.