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In what is still another major, recent travel development, the Department of Transportation has granted Norwegian Air the right to turn the world of transatlantic airfares topsy-turvy. And in a quick example of what it intends to do, Norwegian is now charging less than $200 for the one-way trip from Boston to London. Cheap airfares are now expected from them, to dozens of other transatlantic destinations.    
 
Technically, the Department of Transportation simply permitted Norwegian to operate a subsidiary in Ireland (it had already permitted them to fly an Oslo-based airline called Norwegian Air Shuttle). But because Norway is not a member of the European Union (but Ireland is), the former flights were unable to take advantage of many E.U. itineraries. Now, all constraints have been removed, and the Irish subsidiary of Norwegian Air will be offering a vast number of flights to European cities.
 
No sooner was the D.O.T.'s action announced, that Norwegian's executives announced remarkable expansion of their cheap flights. To begin with, they will now begin flying across the Atlantic from several U.S. airports that have rarely or never seen a transatlantic departure: Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and Stewart Airport located some 60 miles north of New York City. From these new locations, Norwegian will soon begin flying transatlantic to Shannon or Cork, Ireland, and then onward to numerous European cities, at prices totally unlike what international flights used to charge. 
 
In one statement after another, the executives of Norwegian Air have made unusually optimistic projections. They hope to become one of the world's leading airlines, always budget priced. Their specific aim is to make transatlantic travel as cheap as trans-continental domestic travel. Towards that end, they have placed massive orders with Boeing for the most modern of new airplanes (they seem to have considerable funds) and it seems that passengers will have the advantage of those new, fuel-efficient planes, able to carry them to Ireland and Europe at the lowest of costs.
 
It all bodes well for trans-Atlantic travel in 2017, at transportation prices lower than ever. And land costs, once there, will be unusually low. Europe's currency, the euro, is selling at unprecedented low levels (one euro now costs only $1.04), and the exchange is as close to being at par as it has ever been (one U.S. dollar equals almost one euro). 
 
If you have any thought of visiting Europe in 2017, you'd do well to constantly consult the website of Norwegian Air.