Sunday, 27th May 2007, Ireland West Airport Knock marked a significant milestone in the Airport’s 21 year history as the inaugural flight from Ireland West Airport Knock departed for JFK International Airport, New York. This was the commencement of the long-awaited transatlantic service with Scottish low cost carrier flyglobespan. Flyglobespan will operate three direct scheduled flights per week from Ireland West to JFK New York as well as a twice weekly service to Boston. The inaugural flight to Boston had its maiden journey on Wednesday, 30th May 2007 – exactly 21 years after the airport was officially opened in 1986. Seat fares on the transatlantic flights from Ireland West Airport Knock are priced from only €209 one way including taxes.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock, Joe Kennedy, said: “We are delighted to become Ireland’s newest transatlantic gateway airport with the start of the first direct scheduled transatlantic services from Ireland West Knock. The hereditary and cultural ties between the north east coast of America and the West and North West of Ireland are very strong, and we expect that these transatlantic services will connect neighbours, friends and relatives that have long been separated by a century of emigration.”
Mr Kennedy paid a special tribute the chairman of flyglobespan, Mr Tom Dalrymple, and the flyglobespan’s staff in Edinburgh and Dublin, for the commitment and efforts they have been making since the route was announced on January 29th last to launch the new routes. He also paid tribute to a number of people and organisations who have supported the new transatlantic services by joining with the Airport in promoting and marketing the service including: the Mayor of New York Mr Michael Bloomberg; Kevin Sheekey, Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs, and Adrian Flannelly, Irish Liaison for the Mayor, as well as the staff of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland West Region and Fáilte Ireland Northwest Region.
Since news of the new routes were announced, they have attracted great interest from both sides of the Atlantic and Tom Dalrymple, Chairman of Flyglobespan is delighted that flyglobespan’s most recent expansion is off to such a positive start. Commenting on the inaugural flight he said: “By giving Ireland West Knock and New York this new service, we have linked the west of Ireland with the east coast of America – two regions with strong historical and cultural attachments. Not only is New York rightly regarded as one of the world’s most exciting cities, it is a fantastic gateway to North America with a huge range of onward flights. And as well as offering the region of Ireland, direct, low fares flights across the Atlantic, there is the added bonus of the benefits we bring the local tourist trade. I am sure that the low fares we are offering will tempt a number of Americans to make Ireland West knock their entry destination for a visit not just to Ireland but to a wider tour of Europe. It is a very exciting time for the Airport and for the airline. The route has tremendous potential.”
Mr Liam Scollan, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport Knock said: “The fact that passenger numbers on our new US flights have gone form 0 to 35,000 in four months and initial flights 80% full is proof, if proof is needed, of the great potential of these new services to bring a whole new impetus to tourism and transatlantic traffic to and from the west of Ireland. We witness to-day Ireland West Airport reaching the next level in its development.”
Flyglobepan’s first flight into Ireland West Knock from JFK brought over 100 visitors into the region - the first of many incomers who will boost Ireland’s tourism numbers. Welcoming the new Flyglobespan scheduled services into Ireland West Airport Knock, Mr Paul O’Toole, Tourism Ireland, Chief Executive said: “These new services are very welcome news for the West and North West and for tourism throughout the western seaboard. We in Tourism Ireland are working closely with Ireland West Airport Knock, Flyglobespan and Western tourism interests to maximise consumer take-up of the new services in the United States. Early indications suggest that Ireland is set to experience another positive year in 2007 in terms of growing visitors from North America. The new services will make it even easier for visitors from this important and high spending market to explore the delights of the West of Ireland.”
All the New York and Boston flights from Ireland West Airport Knock are available on www.flyglobespan.co.uk or can be booked through local travel agents. As with all flyglobespan services, travellers can choose flights only or take a package which includes transfers and/or accommodation.
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