New York Stewart International Airport in Newburgh has had the unhappy distinction of being an international airport without a single passenger on a scheduled international flight for two and a half years. That’s about to change. Not one but two Scandinavian budget airlines are expected to begin regularly scheduled flights between Stewart and their home bases.
This Tuesday morning the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which holds a 80-year lease on the airport, held a press conference at Stewart to announce that PLAY Airlines, an Icelandic carrier, will establish daily service between the airport and Reykjavik, Iceland on June 5. It will utilize the $37-million, 20,000-square-foot customs and arrival facility that has so far not processed a single regularly scheduled airline flight.
“The addition of PLAY’s international service is important in realizing our post-pandemic vision for New York Stewart as a leading regional provider of both international and domestic air service and as a generator of strong economic growth,” said Rick Cotton, PANYNJ executive director.
PLAY, which will be serving 25 destinations in Europe and the Unted States this summer, will also begin flights to Baltimore/Washington in April and to Boston in May.
The other new arrival will be Norse Atlantic Airways, which expects initially to carry passengers between its home base south of Oslo, Norway and Stewart, Fort Lauderdale Airport near Miami, and Ontario Airport outside Los Angeles.
PLAY will have six new Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft in operation by summer. Norse Atlantic will fly the double-wide 757 Dreamliners.
Noirwegian Air, which pioneered international service at Stewart between 2017 and 2019, utilized low-cost express bus service to Port Authority’s bus terminal in Manahattan. The new arrivals are expected to do the same.
Budget airlines are widely disliked in the non-budget airline industry because they undercut pricess, but Norwegian’s experiences proved that there was a substantial audience for low-cost travel between secondary airports near major cities.
An airport like Stewart.