Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air has confirmed that its new transatlantic flights from Ireland to the USA’s East Coast will include use of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) pre-clearance facilities at Dublin and Shannon airports. The services, which start in July, will fly to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh/Windsor, Orange County, New York—about 60 miles north of New York City; and Thomas Cook will fly to Providence Airport, which is 60 miles south of Boston’s Logan International Airport. Cork Airport in Ireland will also get its first ever transatlantic flights with a service to Providence.
U.S. pre-clearance allows passengers to undertake all U.S. inspections prior to departure, so they can skip immigration queues on arrival in the US. Today, CBP has more than 600 law enforcement officers and agriculture specialists stationed at 15 air preclearance locations in 6 countries: Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in Canada. In Fiscal Year 2016, CBP personnel stationed abroad precleared 18 million travelers, representing over 15 percent of all commercial air travelers to the United States.
In order to make the flight to suburban New York a more seamless connection to New York City, Norwegian has also confirmed details of a new direct shuttle service from Stewart International Airport into central New York City. The new service, operated by Coach USA, has been timed to meet Norwegian’s flight arrivals, allowing passengers to take a direct journey into central Manhattan for $20.
Said Norwegian’s chief commercial officer Thomas Ramdahl: “The countdown is now on … and we look forward to welcoming many Irish passengers on-board our affordable flights to the US this summer.”
On May 14th, Thomas Cook Airlines launched its inaugural flight to San Francisco (SFO) from Manchester Airport. (Manchester is 190 miles north of London Heathrow.) Thomas Cook is the largest carrier serving the U.S. from the UK airport. “We are absolutely delighted to see Thomas Cook Airlines’ inaugural flight to San Francisco leave from Manchester, the UK’s global gateway to and from the North,” said Stephen Turner, commercial director at Manchester Airport. “Manchester is the only UK airport outside of London to offer direct services to San Francisco and gives our 26.5 million annual passengers easy access to the West Coast of the U.S.” Twice-weekly flights (Sundays and Thursdays) to San Francisco are operated by Thomas Cook’s A330-200s, and face competition from Virgin Atlantic Airways’ three times weekly service from London Heathrow.