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Cheap flights ahead for some transatlantic travelers

Norwegian Air will begin operating in June from two East Coast airports.

Norwegian Air Shuttle promises cheap flights for East Coast travelers bound for EuWikimedia Commons

East Coast travelers looking for a ticket abroad should dust off their passports because there are some major deals headed this way.

The Transportation Department has agreed to allow Norwegian Air International to operate at U.S. airports. The move is good news for travelers, who could snap up introductory flights to Ireland foras low as $69 one way, seacoastonline.com reported. Average one-way flights will generally cost$170or less, the airline confirmed.

The airline will operate between Cork and Shannon airports in Ireland and two East Coast airports including Stewart International Airportin upstate New York. The second airport is still undecided, but will be either T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, or New Hampshire’s Portsmouth International Airport at Pease — both airports are less than an hour outside of Boston.

“With final approvals now in place we have the green light to finalize ourexcitingplans for new low-cost transatlantic routes from Ireland,” Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said.“We are delighted to offer these long-awaited services which will create huge business, leisure and tourism opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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Kjos said more detailed price information would be out early next year with the first flights taking off in June.

Norwegian Air Shuttle, a low-cost subsidiary of the company, first applied for U.S. clearance in 2013, but the decision that typically takes a few months dragged on for years as competitor airlines and labor unions argued Norwegian was trying to undercut the market by using unfair labor and safety practices.

Federal authorities investigated the claims and ultimately rejected them.

Pro-consumer travel groups are calling the decision a victory.

"There is zero downside to allowing more low-cost carriers into U.S. airports: it's a policy that's good for consumers, stupendous for U.S. economic and job growth, and even good for U.S. airlines because it broadens the market for domestic connector flights,” said U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow.

 
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