“Ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye .”
-Traditional Scottish ballad
With the last obstacle to low-cost regular European airline service removed, Hudson Valley residents will be able to fly Norwegian Air to Edinburgh, Scotland starting June 15. U.S. Customs has given the budget airline, third largest in Europe, landing rights at Stewart Airport in Newburgh. In addition, frequent flights to other destinations, including Dublin, Shannon and Norway, are scheduled to begin July 1.
The Stewart Airport Commission, which estimates that 250 local jobs have already been created by the new service, is pleased. Stewart has been in slow decline in the number of flights to secondary destinations in the past few years. The European connection will create a new market, with the potential of attracting other airlines as a less costly alternative to landing at JFK. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, has contracted with Coach USA for 80-minute bus service from Stewart to midtown Manhattan.
Norwegian Air operates a fleet of Boeing 737s which have a capacity of 189 passengers. Stewart projects that Norwegian operation will bring 100,000 more passengers to Stewart this year and more than twice that in 2018.