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Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune

Norwegian link to Shannon on the way

The CEO of Norwegian Airlines, Bjørn Kjos met Ireland South MEP and member of the EU Transport Committee, Deirdre Clune in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss transatlantic flights from Cork and Shannon to the US.

Kjos, a Norwegian aviator, lawyer, and business magnate is best known as the founder and CEO of Norwegian Air. He agreed to meet MEP Clune in the European Parliament, as the approval process for Norwegians transatlantic license continues.

Ms Clune described it as a constructive meeting.

“I invited Mr Kjos to the European Parliament to discuss Norwegians flights from Shannon and Cork. He has told me that the process of granting a licence will take time and that there is a procedure to be followed. Ultimately, he wants to begin flying from Cork to the US from August 1 and has also reaffirmed his committemnt to flying from Shannon to the US, but did not give me a specific date on those flights.

“The US gave tentative approval on April 15 for the NAI license; the process is still open for consultation until May 13, after which it is expected that approval will be granted by US Secretary Anthony Foxx. Then it goes to the White House for a final decision. The White House has a week in which they will choose to approve or not. After the White House approves the licence, assuming it does, there is a 60 day period before flights can start but the White House can waiver this 60 day period.

“If all goes according to plan, Norwegian will be free to operate transatlantic flights from both Shannon and Cork from the end of the Summer. This gives passengers more choice, more competition and more options for tourists, investors and business to drive growth into the South and South West of Ireland.

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