Icelandair Introduces Year-Round Link to Toronto

Icelandair has revealed it will launch its first year-round services to Canada with the return of flights between its Keflavik International Airport hub and Toronto’s Lester B Pearson International Airport from this spring.  The European flag carrier confirms it will resume a four times weekly service from March 8, 2013, but will operate the route on a continuous schedule rather than on a seasonal schedule.

The carrier first launched the link in May 2008 but for that year and the subsequent four summers has only provided flights for just over half of the year with schedules beginning in late March or early April and ending in late October or early May.  Icelandair also flies to the Canadian city of Halifax, a route it initially served seasonally between May 1996 and October 2001 but which returned to its network in May 2007.

“We have been eagerly awaiting this day for quite some time,” said Thorsteinn Egilsson, General Manager – The Americas, Icelandair.  “Our year-round service will offer Canadian travelers more choices and a refreshing alternative when flying to more than 20 destinations in Europe.  Plus we offer three classes of service and great fares.”

Toronto will become Icelandair’s fifth year-round North American gateway after the US cities of Boston, Denver, New York and Seattle, while it also serves Minneapolis/St Paul, Orlando Sanford and Washington in North America.  The expanded Toronto schedule is part of a 2013 route expansion that will be the largest in Icelandair’s 76-year history.  The ambitious growth plan includes a new North American gateway, Anchorage and the addition of two new European destinations, St Petersburg and Zurich.

In 2011 an estimated 223,000 bi-directional O&D passengers travelled between North America and Europe via Icelandair’s Keflavik International Airport hub, up 22.6 per cent on the previous year.  In the table below we highlight the top ten flows of transatlantic passengers on Icelandair’s services between Continental Europe and North America.  These figures only include the passengers that connected immediately in Iceland and did not take advantage of Icelandair’s stop-over options in the European country.

SCHEDULED TRANSATLANTIC PASSENGERS BETWEEN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA VIA KEFLAVIK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (bi-directional O&D passengers; 2011)

Rank

Origin

Destination

Estimated O&D Passengers

1

Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH)

New York JFK International (JFK)

27,974

2

Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)

New York JFK International (JFK)

11,160

3

Paris CDG (CDG)

New York JFK International (JFK)

10,387

4

Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)

New York JFK International (JFK)

8,650

5

Oslo Gardermoen (OSL)

New York JFK International (JFK)

6,755

6

Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)

Boston Logan International (BOS)

5,142

7

Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH)

Boston Logan International (BOS)

4,976

8

Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)

Boston Logan International (BOS)

4,373

9

Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH)

Seattle Tacoma International (SEA)

4,138

10

Oslo Gardermoen (OSL)

Minneapolis St Paul (MSP)

3,612


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