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Evergreen announces Boston-to-Cork service

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

The jet that helped propel George W. Bush into the White House will be flying people to Cork this summer.

A new non-stop service out of Boston to Cork Airport is set to take off on June 17, just in time for the summer rush back to Ireland.

The charter service is being run by Boston-based Evergreen Travel and the charter aircraft, an extended range Boeing 757, is owned by New York-based North American Airlines, a subsidiary of the Isr’li carrier El Al.

The 757 that will be used on the Cork route is the same one used by the Bush campaign during the 2000 presidential election campaign.

Not surprisingly, the seats that accommodated the future president and his entourage are not too shabby. Indeed, Cork-bound passengers will be reclining in all-leather upholstery for the roughly five-hour flight.

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The new service is a big breakthrough for Cork Airport, which has been attempting to land a trans-Atlantic carrier for years.

Speaking from Cork, where he was announcing the new service, Evergreen’s Mike Landers, a native of Tralee, Co. Kerry, said that there had been a positive reaction in Cork to the idea of flight from Boston.

"There’s a great buzz here over it and right now we’re busy selling space out of Ireland. There will be no trouble selling seats out of Boston," Landers told the Echo.

Landers said that the initial plan called for five flights, one every second Sunday from June 17 out of Boston to Cork and back.

"We are being conservative and are not jumping in over our head. But if the demand is there, we are ready to add more flights. There’s no problem getting planes," Landers said.

Cork’s effort to attract trans-Atlantic flights has always been hampered by the fact that the airport is a relatively small one by international standards.

The runway was extended a couple of years ago, but even at 7,000 feet there was the potential problem of a fully loaded jumbo jet not having enough room to abort a takeoff, although the runway was sufficiently long enough for a wide-bodied aircraft to land.

The 757 that will fly from Boston, by contrast, is a late model aircraft that needs a lot less runway room for both landing and takeoff.

Landers, meanwhile, said that if the service from Boston to Cork proved a success, he would likely examine the possibility of a similar service to Cork from Kennedy Airport in New York next year.

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