TDs reject Sanders' fears over new route from Cork
Furious Cork politicians are attempting to use the powerful Irish-American lobby to counteract a stinging attack by US Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on a proposed budget transatlantic service.
Mr Sanders, who trails Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Party nomination, warned a Norwegian Air service from Cork to Boston was effectively using Ireland as "a flag of convenience".
He claimed it would also undermine US labour conditions.
A complex submissions process on a route certificate concludes on May 16 but that may now be delayed.
Norwegian planned to launch the Cork route on August 1.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Housing Minister Simon Coveney have contacted Irish-American politicians, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, to build support for the proposed route.
"There are very strong links between our two cities and I believe there is a lot of good will in Boston to get this service up and running," Mr Martin said.
"Mayor Walsh's office have told me that the route will be good for both Boston and Cork," he added.
Mr Coveney stressed that a transatlantic service was economically critical for both Cork and the south-west region.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune rejected suggestions Ireland was "a flag of convenience" for Norwegian Air.