Four new airlines at T.F. Green to share $3.4M in state incentives

NORWEGIAN AIRLINES, which is running ads on public transit buses in Dublin, Ireland, would be eligible for reimbursement for the campaign under the Air Service Development Fund program. / PBN PHOTO/MARK S. MURPHY
NORWEGIAN AIR is ending its trans-Atlantic service, including flights from T.F. Green Airport to Dublin, which the airline had promoted in Ireland when it began the service. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MARK S. MURPHY

PROVIDENCE – Four airline carriers that have established new routes out of T.F. Green Airport will receive a combined $3.4 million in public marketing incentives, the R.I. Commerce Corp. announced Friday.

The Air Service Development Fund was created to provide financial incentives for new or expanded air service. Initially stocked with $1.5 million in fiscal 2016, it received another $500,000 this past fiscal year.

The remaining funds needed for the incentives approved Friday by the Air Service Development Council will be provided by the R.I. Airport Corp., according to a spokesman for Commerce RI.

The following was approved Friday:

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  • $1.8 million for Norwegian Air, which has established service through T.F. Green to three destinations in Ireland, including Dublin, Edinburgh in Scotland and Belfast in Northern Ireland, as well as Bergen Airport in Norway.
  • $500,000 to Norwegian, for two routes to Guadeloupe and Martinique in the French Caribbean.
  • $485,714 to Frontier Airlines, for new domestic service to Denver, Miami and New Orleans.
  • $200,000 to Frontier, for service to Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina.
  • $171,429 to Allegiant Air, for routes to St. Petersburg, Fla., Punta Gorda, Fla., and Cincinnati.
  • $142,857 to OneJet, for service to Pittsburgh.

The four carriers have established a total of 16 routes out of T.F. Green, significantly expanding the reach of the airport over the past 18 months, according to Gov. Gina M. Raimondo.

The airport now has direct service to destinations in Europe and the Caribbean as well as expanded service within the continental U.S., Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said in a news release.

Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of the R.I. Airport Corp., said the funds will be used to “strengthen awareness around these flights so that we can accelerate passenger growth.”

In order to receive the funds, the marketing efforts have to have already been completed, according to Matt Sheaff, a Commerce RI spokesman.

So, for example, once an ad campaign is completed, the airline would invoice the R.I. Airport Corp. for reimbursement.

Under a memorandum of agreement approved Friday, carriers that add new service are eligible for up to $200,000 for domestic routes and up to $750,000 in marketing funds for international markets.

It was not immediately clear whether the airlines are required to retain the new routes for a period of time, given the public incentives.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for PBN. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at MaryF_MacDonald.

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