Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) joined the Rhode Island Airport Corporation to announce today (February 23rd) that Norwegian Airlines will begin service this summer from T. F. Green Airport (PVD) to Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh and Shannon.
The following is a press release from Larry Berman, Communications Director for the Office of the Speaker;
Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) joined the Rhode Island Airport Corporation to announce today that Norwegian Airlines, the World’s Best Low–Cost Long–Haul Airline and Europe’s Best Low–Cost Airline, will begin service this summer from T. F. Green Airport (PVD) to Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh and Shannon.
These will be the first-ever year-round European routes for Rhode Island’s largest airport. Norwegian will open a base for its pilots and cabin crew and station two Boeing 737MAX aircraft at both T.F. Green and Stewart airports. Norwegian already has more U.S.-based cabin crews than any other foreign airline, and these two new bases will create another 150 American jobs
Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said “I was pleased to be part of the team of Rhode Island officials that met on multiple occasions with Norwegian Air officials to convince them that Rhode Island is the place to be. This is tremendous news that shows our economy is improving and our state is open for business. The presence of Norwegian Air will mean good-paying jobs for Rhode Islanders, will be a great boost for the activity at T.F. Green Airport, and will bolster our tourism and hospitality industries in Warwick.”
President of the Rhode Island Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed said, “Low cost transatlantic flights will help Rhode Island become a major point of entry to North America for many travelers. This service further connects the sister cities of Newport and Kinsale, and presents opportunities to grow the tourism economies on both sides of the Atlantic.”
House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and Rep. Camillle Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) were also in attendance at today’s announcement.
“Our state is already home to one of the best airports in the country- T.F. Green is consistently rated one of the most convenient places to fly in the country. As Rhode Island’s economy ramps up, major airlines are taking notice of Rhode Island’s potential. Last summer, we celebrated the return of service to the Azores. Today’s announcement from Norwegian is good news for our small businesses looking to access new markets and for working families who have expanded, affordable vacation opportunities. And Rhode Island is looking forward to showing off our state’s tremendous coastline, arts community and the culinary riches of Providence to many new visitors in the coming years,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo.
“The wait is finally over for Americans who have been eagerly waiting for Norwegian to launch the cheapest nonstop transatlantic fares. Not only is the introductory fare ridiculously low at $65, but once the introductory period is over, passengers can still score a bargain fare as low as $99 including taxes on these routes,” said Bjørn Kjos, Founder and CEO of Norwegian. “When we launched our award-winning Boeing 787 Dreamliner service in 2013, we revolutionized low-cost transatlantic travel. Since then, other carriers have tried to replicate our product offering – but they can’t. We are constantly evolving and finding more exciting and efficient ways to make travel more affordable for as many people as possible.”
“We’re excited to see Norwegian’s commitment to the Ocean State and we look forward to welcoming more visitors from Europe,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), who has worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to invest approximately $110 million in upgrading T.F. Green and extending the airport’s runways to better accommodate direct, long-distance flights. “The airport is a catalyst for economic development throughout the state. The investments we have made here continue to open up new opportunities for tourism and job growth and help connect Rhode Islanders to more destinations worldwide. There is always more work to be done, but we sure seem to be flying in the right direction.”
Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of RIAC, said, “I could not be more pleased that Norwegian has selected Green Airport for service to some of the top markets in Europe. These flights are a significant addition to this airport and they will enable more global business development and bring in more tourists to our state. This could not have happened without the dedication and hard work of our RIAC Board and staff, and the support of our business, travel and tourism partners, who welcomed Norwegian during their initial visits to our state.”
“We are thrilled that Norwegian Air, along with their Boeing 737 MAX jets, will soon be coming to T.F. Green. Although we have had seasonal service to international destinations in more recent years, this new addition will truly lay the foundation for a significant boost in international travel routes,” said Mayor Avedisian. “The conversation has been a long time coming, and with all the recent enhancements to the airport, interlink station, as well as accommodations right in City Centre Warwick, the timing could not be better. We are excited to offer both residents and visitors alike new and affordable flight options to Europe, and are confident T.F. Green will appeal to travelers who are looking to stay away from other busy and congested airports.”
“This is a great accomplishment for the airport as well as the State of Rhode Island. It could not have happened without the overwhelming support we received from the business community as well as many elected officials who took time out of their day to meet with representatives of Norwegian Air. They helped us make a very compelling argument that Rhode Island was the place Norwegian Air wanted to be and that the market and demand was here,” said Jonathan N. Savage, chairman of RIAC’s board of directors.
· Year-round service to Edinburgh from Providence: Flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays starting June 16; Service will be reduced on certain routes during the winter 2017/2018 season.
· Service to Belfast will be twice weekly from Providence as of July 2. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
· Service to Dublin from Providence: Flights will operate five weekly flights starting July 2. Days of operations from Providence will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
· Service to Shannon from Providence will begin on July 3 with twice-weekly flights. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
· Year-round service to Cork from Providence will start on July 1 with three weekly flights. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
These new transatlantic routes will be operated by Norwegian Air International, Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, and will predominantly use U.S.-based crew from the two new crew bases, as well as crew from the new Edinburgh base in the UK. Norwegian is the European launch customer of the Boeing 737-MAX, a state-of-the-art new aircraft, which offers a longer range and greater seat capacity. Tickets are on sale now at Norwegian.com/us, with fares from $65 one-way, including taxes. Passengers have the option to receiving additional savings by bundling a seat reservation, preordering a meal service (including alcoholic beverages) and pre-paying for checked luggage. Norwegian does not charge customers for carry-on luggage