A year after it began international flights from Stewart International Airport, Norwegian airline announced June 15 that starting Oct. 28 it would begin daily flights to Edinburgh Airport in Scotland and Shannon Airport in Ireland.
Currently, the fare-cutting, long-haul airline flies to Edinburgh four times a week and to Shannon three times a week. The airline’s twice a day flights from Stewart to Dublin would continue through the winter season, according to the announcement.
The airline touted its use of Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft for allowing it to open new routes to smaller airports such as Stewart in New Windsor and T.F. Green International Airport in Providence, Rhode Island.
Norwegian said it flies the longest routes of any Boeing MAX-8 operator at 3,000 nautical miles on its trips between Stewart and Bergen, Norway and Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Shannon airports.
“This is still early days for our transatlantic service, which is the driving force behind Norwegian’s growth,” said Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s chief commercial officer. “American customers have shown great interest in our affordable fares on the MAX routes and we will continue to welcome more passengers onboard as we expand the service in the future.”
Passenger count more than doubled at Stewart since Norwegian began flights last June. Due to the increase in air traffic, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey earlier this year decided to rebrand the airport as New York Stewart International Airport to make it make it easier for global travelers to easily identify its geographical location.
In addition, the Port Authority approved a $30 million expansion of the airport that will include construction of a permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection area. Currently, passengers must exit international flights onto the tarmac and walk to an area set aside in the terminal for customs inspections.
“With their vast global network, Norwegian serves as a vital gateway for the region to Europe, and is a key supporter of New York’s tourism industry,” Ed Harrison, the airport’s general manager, said in a statement. “From last June through April, the airline operated nearly 800 outbound flights and carried almost 215,000 passengers, helping to make this the nation’s fastest growing airport.”
To those traveling beyond the Hudson Valley, the Stewart Airport Express operates buses between the airport and the Port Authority bus station in New York City that are timed with Norwegian’s departures and arrivals.
Norwegian is the world’s sixth largest low-cost airline and carried about 33 million passengers in 2017. The airline was named the Most Fuel-Efficient Airline on Transatlantic Routes by the International Council on Clean Transportation.
In an interview last September, Bjorn Kjos, the founder and CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, said he was looking to add more Boeing 737 MAXs – 108 MAXs and 42 Dreamliners – and expand the airline’s destinations.
In the June 15 announcement, Norwegian said it would take delivery of 12 Boeing 737 MAX 8s this year and has 100 Boeing 737 MAX on firm order.