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If you and your family have been dreaming about taking an Irish vacation, you may soon be able to fly to Ireland directly out of Providence. Iftikhar Ahmad, President and CEO, of R.I. Airport Corp., the owners of Providence’s T.F. Green Airport, are in talks with Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA to offer a regular direct flight to and from Ireland. Beyond the convenience, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA is a discount airliner, so the tickets will be extremely affordable for Providence residents. In an interview with Providence Business News, Ahmad said that the service could start as early as the beginning of 2017. T.F. Green Airport is currently “being considered” and Ahmad hopes “we can convince them. We know if they were to start service here it would be beneficial to them.” Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA offers this same flight out of Boston’s Logan Airport currently and is in talks with both Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and Portsmouth International Airport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Ahmad believes that T.F. Green Airport is a better place for them to do business because of the airline incentives, airport awards, customer service satisfaction, and the low costs. Plus, T.F. Green already offers other international flights so it can easily accommodate the new service. Anders Lindstrom, a spokesperson for Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, wrote that they plan to announce their decision, as well as the destinations, routes, and frequency of flights by early 2017. Lindstrom says once they’ve decided which airport, they will offer introductory fares as low as $69 dollars one way to Cork, Shannon, and Dublin, Ireland. So get your passport ready, because that’s cheaper than a bus ticket to Boston! Lindstrom also said that Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA plans to recruit around 75 pilots and cabin crew and would base two 737 aircrafts at the selected airport, bringing quite a few desirable jobs to the area as well. Even though the two parties have yet to officially sign a contract, OSM Aviation has a job posting up for a cabin crew to work out of Providence on Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA’s 737-MAX transatlantic fleet. This advertisement makes us think the deal may be closer than Ahmad and Lindstrom have admitted. Adding a new transatlantic flight will be great for the residents of Providence, especially since T.F. Green recently lost its direct flight to Frankfurt, Germany with Condor Airlines after competition with low price carriers out of Logan Airport in Boston. So if you’ve ever wanted to see the gorgeous Elizabethan architecture of Trinity College in Dublin, take a stroll along the stunning oceanside cliffs of Moher, or just have a singalong with friends over a traditional stout in an Irish pub, 2017 may be your year! Watch for more on this story because with the discount introduction fairs, anyone will be able to afford a trip to Ireland out of T.F. Green Airport.

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Jim DeRentis
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