I will be attending a Travel Blogger conference, TBEX, in Killarney, Ireland in October. Consequently, I have regularly (okay, obsessively) been checking the price of flights from NYC to Dublin, Shannon and Kerry.
Aer Lingus has consistently been showing the best fare to Shannon (the low $500s) – and it’s an attractive choice because the flights are non-stop from JFK. Also, I haven’t explored the western part of Ireland yet.
Usually, when I’m checking, I restrict the search to New York flights to JFK and LGA, but today I included the whole range of New York airports.
A much cheaper price came up – $336 – RT between SWF (Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY) and SNN (Shannon, Ireland).
Djibouti Airlines? I never heard of it. How could that be? Non-stop from New York to Shannon?? What?
A little research and I learned from Wikipedia that Djibouti is a small African country bordered by Eritrea (another country I’ve never heard of) in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast (ye, I know Ethiopia and Somalia). The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east.
Wait, the plot gets weirder.
A little more Wikipedia research, and I learned that Djibouti Airlines has been defunct since at least 2009.
Djibouti Airlines was established on 1 February 1996 by former Puntavia director Moussa Rayaleh. Low-fare commuter services commenced on 5 February with first flights to Dire Dawa and Hargeisa using a Let L-410 UVP-E aircraft. The company was owned by Moussa Rayaleh Waberi (Chairman) (97.3%) and other investors (2.7%) and had 46 employees (at March 2007). It had its commercial transport license revoked on 30 July 2009.
(I am not an expert on airlines the way Gary Leff is – I wouldn’t be surprised if he already knew all about Djibouti Airlines and it’s demise!)
A little more research and head scratching. And then….
VOILA – MYSTERY SOLVED!
I discovered the answer to this puzzle in a travel forum on Rick Steve’s Website.
You see, the airline code for Djibouti Airlines was D8. The codes used for Norwegian Airlines are D8 and DY. Ergo the confusion – – many flight aggregators mistakenly list Djibouti Airlines instead of Norwegian Airlines.
So, the mysterious cheap flight was not on some obscure defunct African carrier, but on none other than Norwegian Airlines!