Looking for indicators of a strong rebound in the transatlantic market? Iceland’s upstart Play Airlines plans a third US destination to launch this Spring, with Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, NY grabbing the company’s attention. Daily service will begin on 9 June, 2022. Baltimore and Boston are the carrier’s other two gateways to the US.
To celebrate its service from New York, PLAY is offering a special introductory rate until February 7 of $109 on U.S. departing flights, though that deal focuses on September/October travel, not the peak summer travel season. Onward connections are available via Keflavik to more than 20 destinations across Europe.
Play CEO Birgir Jónsson is keen on the potential of operating from the smaller airport, even if it means losing out on some of the traditional NYC-focused traffic:
After we learned of the economic growth and the attractions in the area surrounding New York Stewart and the benefits the airport has, we did not hesitate and believe that this is a great opportunity. This decision enables us to offer the lowest prices on flights between New York and Europe as we get a good deal being the first airline operating international flights from the airport.
Play is the first airline to offer international flights at Stewart since the pandemic began. But it is not the only airline to announce such plans. Norse Atlantic also announced its intentions to serve Stewart as part of its US service launch.
Stewart typically serves domestic travelers in the Hudson Valley area, northern New Jersey, and western Connecticut. It has also operated as an overflow airport for some transatlantic flights in the past. Most notably, Norwegian operated single-aisle flights across the Atlantic from Stewart before the pandemic.
The airport also recently completed a $37 million expansion of its customs and immigration facilities to better serve international customers.
As with Norwegian in the past, Play also hypes the easy connectivity to Manhattan via a pair of rail operators (Metro North & Amtrak) or the Newburgh-Beacon-Stewart Link bus.
The company also sees lower parking costs and fewer lines as compelling for travelers, especially the suburban catchment area.
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Howard Miller says
There’s also a brand new Legoland amusement park that opened last summer, plus Woodbury Common Premium Outlet mall, which is among the larger outlet malls, in the vicinity.
The Hudson Valley region is also growing, with Hudson, NY a popular draw for its shops and restaurants.
Seth Miller says
Woodbury Common has been there for decades. I don’t think it is an international draw on its own, though I’m sure some tourists go shopping there on a trip through the region.
Picking SWF almost certainly has to do more with lower costs and the ability to appeal to the local residents who would be driving to the airport anyways, not to NYC outbound pax. And there will be enough people willing to deal with the bus into NYC to use it as an option, or VFR travelers for the Hudson Valley area.
At least PLAY is only bringing 180-200 seats a day in. When Norse Atlantic adds another 300+ things will get more interesting in terms of inducing demand with low fares.