Icelandair beats SAS and Norwegian


Icelandair has announced further expansion of its global network with new year-round service from Tampa International Airport (TPA), and seasonal flights from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Flights begin May 30, 2017 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with four weekly non-stop flights to Iceland and on September 7, 2017 from Tampa Bay, Florida with two weekly flights.

“We examined 10 to 15 possible destinations before we chose Philadelphia and Tampa. When we choose a new destination at least four things must be met: 1. How many passengers coming from Iceland. 2. How many passengers coming to Iceland 3. How many transatlantic passengers. 4. Is there a business case. Out of these concrete criteria we chose Philadelphia and Tampa. So Icelandair will now offer service to 18 North American gateways, “said Birkir Holm Gudnason, CEO of Icelandair to TTO Scandinavia at Vestnorden on Iceland.

The gateways 18 are:

Boston, Chicago-ORD, Denver, Edmonton, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Newark, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.; and seasonal service from Anchorage, Halifax, Montreal, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC.

Connections through Icelandair’s hub at Keflavik International Airport are available to more than 25 destinations in Scandinavia, the U.K. and Continental Europe.

“With 18 gateways to North America, Icelandair have more destinations to North America than SAS and Norwegian. What is your comment on this?” “We are proud of it. But it is not the most important. What really matters is that we can create some routes that can attract passengers from Europe to the US and Canada and vice versa. Only 15 percent of Icelandsairs passengers are from Iceland. About 50 percent is transatlantic, “says Birkir Holm Gudnason. “How many new destinations will Icelandair have in 2017?” “No new routes in 2017. We will have two new Boeings 767 in 2017. So we have a total of four Boeing 767th more frequencies including Portland and new aircraft provides 15 percent more capacity in 2017. Boeing 767 will have a longer flight time of about 12 hours. It allows new destinations in North America or flight to the airports where we have slot restrictions include in Europe.” “Should Icelandair also start flying to Asia, Japan and China with the new larger aircraft?” “No. Asia is not an option the first two – three years. We have a good working relationship with SAS and Finnair on routes to Asia, “says Birkir Holm Gudnason.

“Tampa Bay and Philadelphia will further strengthen Icelandair’s presence in the eastern United States by better serving our passengers with faster travel times to more than 25 destinations in Europe. Floridians and Philadelphians alike will now have a refreshing alternative when traveling to Iceland and beyond, while Icelanders and Europeans will have direct access to the sunny beaches and many attractions of the Tampa Bay area, and direct access to the historic city of Philadelphia, the fifth largest city in the United States. This is an exciting and significant moment for Icelandair and we look forward to welcoming both Philadelphia and Tampa Bay aboard in 2017,” said Birkir Holm Gudnason, CEO of Icelandair.

“This new flight is just one more example of Tampa’s growing prominence as an international gateway,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “That’s important because international air service at TPA boosts economic activity, business opportunities and tourism for the entire region.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Icelandair to PHL and look forward to offering non-stop service to Reykjavik,” said Chellie Cameron, CEO, Philadelphia International Airport. “This capital city is a gateway to a beautiful country and to its Scandinavian neighbors. We are proud to increase our non-stop international destinations and open a new market to our travelers.”