A Norwegian airline has announced it is to offer transatlantic services from Cork Airport, beginning next summer.

The new routes will be operated under Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International Ltd (NAI) .

A Cork to Boston service, with four or five flights a week, is planned for next May.

A service to New York is planned some time in 2017.

The airline also announced a new route from Cork serving Barcelona, to begin next May, with up to five flights a week.

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: "This is only the beginning of our plans for new routes in Ireland but our expansion relies on the US Department of Transportation (DoT) finally approving Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign carrier permit.

"Only DoT approval for NAI will unlock the door for these exciting new routes, creating more competition, more choice and better fares for business and leisure passengers on both sides of the Atlantic."

Cork Airport Managing Director Niall MacCarthy said: "We’re delighted that Norwegian will operate Cork Airport’s first transatlantic service.

"Cork Airport has a robust hinterland with a well-developed industrial base and a fantastic tourism product. We’re sure there will be strong demand for these new transatlantic services from both business and leisure passengers."

The new long-haul routes from Cork to Boston and New York will be serviced by B737-800 aircraft and the new B737MAX for which Norwegian Air International will be Boeing’s European launch customer.