STEWART AIRPORT – When Norwegian Air starts its European flights
from Stewart Airport this summer, it will initially service Dublin, Belfast,
Shannon and Edinburgh for a total of 19 flights per week. But, service
is likely not to stop there. Airline Senior Vice President Lars Sande
told an announcement ceremony at the Stewart terminal on Thursday that
he expects service to grow as they expand their fleet of aircraft.
Norwegian, which flies 450 routes worldwide, is dedicating six brand new
jet aircraft to the Stewart service and they have over 200 new jets on
order for their entire operation.
Two of the airline’s new planes will be based at Stewart with a
local, American crew and Boeing, the manufacturer of the 737s, will build
a service center with 10 mechanics to maintain the fleet.
Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said the new service
will be transformative for Stewart and the region.
“We think in the first six months, we will get to 400,000 passengers
here at Stewart and hundreds of thousands more as a result of Norwegian
service, but other carriers taking passengers, some of whom will stay
here in Orange County and the Hudson Valley, throughout other parts of
New York, New Jersey and frankly, some will want to see the rest of the
country, and connecting with the Norwegian flights I think is a very exciting
possibility,” he said.
Sande said initial fares for the June 30-July 1 service start-up will
“I think especially for the Americans, you have been way too long
mistreated on high fares going to Europe, so this is a long time coming
for you guys,” he said. “Ever though these fares are ridiculously
low, they are going to keep on staying quite low in the future as well,”
One-way fares to Dublin, Belfast and Shannon will start at $99 while one-way
fares to Edinburgh will start at $65.
In addition to the travel benefits of the new service, Foye said it is
expected to generate 230 jobs with $13 million in wages and some $40 million
in economic opportunity for the Hudson Valley.
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said Stewart “has never been
better” than with the Port Authority take-over 10 years ago. He
had high praise for Airport Manager Ed Harrison and his staff for their
hard work in attracting Norwegian.