THE possibility of a transatlantic flight between Cork and New York rests on the capability of new Boeing 737 Max aircraft which began operation this week on the Cork to Providence route.
Airline Norwegian said they will monitoring the aircraft's performance carefully over the coming weeks to ascertain the range that it can fly.
Norwegian started the first transatlantic flight from Cork on July 4, operating three weekly flights to Providence. However, they always intended on adding a flight to the New York's Stewart Airport at a later date.
However, it was feared that the extra distance to New York, 250km further inland, would be beyond the range of the aircraft.
Norwegian said they would have to wait until they began operating the 737 Max aircraft to know their true capabilities. On Tuesday the first 737 Max airport landed and Cork and began operating the Cork to Providence route.
Asked about the future of the planned Cork to New York flights a spokesperson said: "With our new MAX aircraft now going into operation at Cork, over the coming months, this will allow us to learn more about the aircraft’s operational capabilities at Cork to see what future possibilities there are."
“As we’ve said before, the door remains open to a potential Cork-New York route in future."
Norwegian said their transatlantic flights from Cork and other Irish airports have been more than 90% full since they began in July. Last month, many of the flights between Cork and Providence were sold out.
“Our transatlantic routes from Ireland were extremely popular over the summer, with high load factors over 90% and many flights full,” the airline said.
The new route has helped to further growth in passenger numbers at Cork Airport.
The airport saw an average of 69 flights each day last month which was an increase of 3.6% on last year.