Board and management of Ireland West Airport Knock formally thank Mayor Bloomberg for his contribution in securing transatlantic flights
Today, Sunday February 4th 2007, The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg returned to Ireland West Airport Knock with Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs, Kevin Sheekey, to celebrate the achievement of transatlantic flights between Ireland West Airport Knock and the United States. This week, it was announced that flyglobespan, a Scottish low-cost carrier will operate three flights per week between Ireland West Knock and JFK, along with two weekly flights to Boston’s Logan Airport. Mayor Bloomberg played a highly significant role in securing the transatlantic services. At a press conference held in Ireland West Airport Knock, the Airport’s board and management formally thanked the mayor and expressed their gratitude for his contribution in bringing the project to a successful conclusion. The new major routes will provide direct scheduled services to the West and North West of Ireland to the United States for the first time.
Mayor Bloomberg last visited Ireland West Airport Knock in August 2006. After returning to New York, he aided the process to bring about approval for flyglobespan to operate the routes with the US Department of Transportation for flights between Ireland West Knock and the United States. Commenting at today’s press conference Mayor Bloomberg said: “When I last visited this picturesque corner of the Emerald Isle, I learned just how essential it was to establish a direct route between Ireland West Knock an the United States – which is why one of my first tasks upon returning to the States was to lobby the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve this vital connection between our countries,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
“Not only will these routes strengthen cultural and familial bonds between the City and Ireland, they will be a boost for our tourism industry. Once these flights begin in May, they will be another way for Irish residents to come to New York and ‘shop while the dollar drops.’ I thank Congressman Peter King, Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs Kevin Sheekey, and my new Irish Cultural Liaison Adrian Flannelly, who were all instrumental in the approval of the routes.”
The Government was represented by the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., who formally welcomed Mayor Bloomberg back to Ireland West Airport Knock. Minister Coughlan, who next month will travel for an official visit to New York during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, said that establishment of a direct link to both New York and Boston will be of significant benefit to the west and northwest of the country. “Ireland West Airport Knock has grown to such an extent over the past 21 years that it is now the first choice airport for people throughout the west and northwest. The addition of direct flights to the United States is a major achievement for its board, management and staff and one that will open up many new opportunities for tourism and business in the region. Mayor Bloomberg has had a pivotal role to play and I wish to acknowledge the support he has shown to developing the already strong links between the west of Ireland and his own city of New York.”
In paying tribute to Mayor Bloomberg, Joe Kennedy, Chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock said: “Once again we are delighted to welcome Mayor Michael Bloomberg to our Airport. I take this occasion to formally thank him on behalf of the Board, the management and the staff of Ireland West Airport Knock for the highly significant and influential role he has played in securing support for the flyglobespan service into the United States starting at the end of May this year. He and his team including Kevin Sheekey are true friends of our Airport and long may our friendship prosper.”
Mayor Bloomberg has performed a great service for the people of the Ireland. As a result of his involvement, he has also given the opportunity for Irish people to enjoy the delights of New York and visit our many friends neighbours and relatives living there.”
New York is set to benefit from thousands of Irish origination tourists who will flock to this popular city destination, not only to visit the many friends and relatives linked to half the region’s adult population, but also for leisure, shopping, cultural trips. Commenting on this aspect of outbound travel, David Slattery, MD of Slattery Tours said: “The announcement of transatlantic flights is a victory for all concerned - the ever growing client base of Ireland West Airport Knock, the staff and management of the airport and flyglobespan. Transatlantic travellers will now be able to experience the location and ease of use that has made Ireland West Airport Knock such a success story over the last number of years. I am sure that this announcement heralds the start of Ireland West Airport Knock becoming a major gateway into North America. I have been closely associated with the airport over the last few years, and knowing the people involved, I have no doubt that this will be a tremendous success for everyone.”
Mayor Bloomberg flew back to New York shortly after the press conference from Ireland West Airport Knock. flyglobespan will commence flights from Ireland West Airport Knock to New York on May 27th 2007 and to Boston on May 30th 2007. For further information please log-on to www.flyglobespan.com or contact your local travel agent.