Newburgh-based New York Stewart International Airport will soon start direct flights to the Faroe Islands, a popular European tourist destination.
It is the nation’s first nonstop flight service to the island group sitting halfway between Norway and Iceland, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).
Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said in a press release that the new flights would bring in tourism dollars and create local jobs in the Hudson Valley region.
The Faroe Islands’ national airline, Atlantic Airways, will operate the new flights, with outbound services from Stewart on Wednesdays and return flights on Tuesdays.
Each one-way trip takes about six hours.
Tickets will be available from May 15, and services will be running from Aug. 22 through Oct. 4.
Jóhanna á Bergi, CEO of Atlantic Airways, said in a press release, “We are very excited about this new historic route between the Faroe Islands to the US.”
Last June, Stewart Airport started new daily international flights to Iceland through the low-cost carrier PLAY after constructing a new $37 million terminal.
The airport also carries domestic flights to several destinations in Florida.
PANYNJ is a bi-state agency that operates and maintains a network of major transportation and infrastructure assets on the East Coast, including Stewart Airport.
It draws its annual revenue of $8 billion primarily from user fees.
In 2019, on the heels of Stewart losing low-cost carrier Norwegian Air, PANYNJ came out with a strategic plan to recruit new international flights to the airport.
Norwegian Air served about 600,000 international passengers through Stewart Airport between 2017 and 2019, according to PANYNJ.
According to the strategic plan, Stewart was positioned as a low-cost alternative with easy access to Hudson Valley attractions such as Woodbury Commons and Legoland New York.
PANYNJ envisioned Stewart to be the fourth air traffic hub aside from Kennedy, La Guardia, and Newark in the New York City area when it acquired the airport in 2007.
It has since invested $200 million in the airport’s infrastructure, including a new 20,000-square-foot terminal allowing for the screening of 400 international passengers in an hour, according to PANYNJ.
For passengers heading for New York City, buses are the quickest and most affordable means of transportation.
Last year, Orange County was awarded $500,000 of federal money with the help of former Congressman Patrick Maloney to conduct a feasibility study on connecting Stewart Airport and Beacon train station in Dutchess County.
The proposed link would essentially connect the airport with Manhattan through rails.
The Orange County Transportation Council is tasked with developing the scope of work and preparing bids for the study, which is expected to take years to complete.
In 2008, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) proposed a light rail linking Stewart Airport directly to Manhattan, but the idea failed to come to fruition.
MTA is responsible for public transportation in the New York City metropolitan area.