Icelandair Enhances Keflavik Hub with new Canadian and European Links

Icelandair is to boost operations from its Keflavik International Airport hub during the summer 2014 schedule with the introduction of new flights to Edmonton and Vancouver in Canada and Geneva in Switzerland and increased capacity on many of its existing routes.  In fact the network growth will mean the 2014 flight schedule will be the biggest in the carrier’s long history, with capacity up 18 per cent on this year.

The European flag carrier will introduce three additional Boeing 757-200s, boosting its fleet to 21 aircraft and will take advantage of the new air traffic agreement between Iceland and Canada which opens up new possibilities for flight between the two countries and connecting flights to and from European destinations.  The new flights to Edmonton and Vancouver will be initially served on a seasonal basis but there are already plans for them to transition to year-round operation in the future.

Like much of Icelandair’s existing North American network the destinations will be served to support business and leisure demand in and out of Iceland as well as to provide new connectivity options for Canadian travellers into the wider European market via the carrier’s Keflavik International Airport hub.  The Icelandic international gateway is developing as a popular and cost-effective connection opportunity across the Atlantic with Icelandair offering the added option of a stop-over in Iceland at no additional airfare cost.

Icelandair will offer twice weekly flights between Keflavik and Vancouver, the largest city in western Canada with a population of 2.3 million, between May 13, 2013 and October 12, 2013, while a four times weekly service will be provided between Keflavik and Edmonton, capital of Alberta, from March 26, 2013 through to January 2015.

“We see a bright future ahead with a stronger network and even more opportunities for the many business and leisure travellers flying to Europe from Canada.  Icelandair continues to search out markets that will benefit from our presence for both inbound and outbound travellers and further strengthen our role in opening the skies to Europe,” said Helgi Már Björgvinsson, senior vice president of marketing and sales, Icelandair.

Icelandair expects particularly strong onward passenger flows on these two new routes to Scandinavia, notably from Vancouver.  “Our Seattle service, which serves those primarily south of the border, has been a success for us and we hope our Vancouver service will be just as popular,” said Birkir Holm Gudnason, chief executive officer, Icelandair.  “Besides adding Iceland as a nonstop destination from Vancouver, our service will make it much easier to travel to Scandinavia.”

There are already strong air connections between Vancouver and Europe so it is at Edmonton that the arrival of Icelandair will bring most network opportunities, providing Albertans with faster and easier access to more than 20 destinations across Europe, with significantly shorter travel times to places like Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Stockholm.  “Travellers will save as much as six and a half hours of travel time on a return trip,” said Reg Milley, president and chief executive officer, Edmonton International Airport.

“The vibrant and academic community of Edmonton is underserved by international airlines and Icelandair will now offer a refreshing alternative to Europe from Canada,” added Icelandair’s Björgvinsson.  The airline’s interline agreement with WestJet means further connection opportunities throughout Canada to both the Edmonton and Vancouver services.

Icelandair offers service to Iceland from Boston, New York-JFK, Seattle, Denver and Toronto with seasonal service from Washington, D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando Sanford, Halifax, Anchorage, Newark, Vancouver and Edmonton.  Connections through Keflavik International Airport are available to more than 20 destinations in Scandinavia, the UK and Continental Europe, boosted in summer 2014 by the addition of twice weekly flights to Geneva between May 24, 2014 and September 23, 2014.

Other developments in the Icelandair summer 2014 schedule will see the introduction of an additional weekly flight to Denver, increasing to a daily operation from June 4, 2014 and growth into Toronto with an increase from four to five weekly flights from April 3, 2014 and to a daily basis between May 24, 2014 and September 7, 2014.  On the European side additional frequencies will be introduced to Brussels, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Helsinki, London, Munich, Oslo, Paris and Zurich.

Icelandair has seen strong organic growth in the past few years and the 2014 international flight schedule is actually double the size of that flown by the carrier just five years earlier in 2009 with departures from Iceland growing from 4,500 in 2009 up to 9,000 next year.  The airline handled 1.3 million passengers in 2009 and expects that to also double to 2.6 million in 2014, up from a forecast of around 2.3 million this year. 

In the table below we highlight the largest points in the carrier’s network from Keflavik International, based upon its estimated O&D passenger demand and transit passengers connecting at the hub airport in 2012.

ESTIMATED PASSENGER DEMAND ON ICELANDAIR NETWORK FROM KEFLAVIK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (bi-directional O&D passengers; 2012)

Rank

Destination

O&D Passengers

Transit Passengers

Total Passengers

% Total

1

Copenhagen (CPH)

219,702

41,822

261,524

11.7 %

2

New York (JFK)

130,496

80,343

210,839

9.4 %

3

London (LHR)

185,572

16,501

202,073

9.0 %

4

Stockholm (ARN)

103,493

46,866

150,359

6.7 %

5

Oslo (OSL)

116,296

31,247

147,543

6.6 %

6

Boston (BOS)

110,721

35,208

145,929

6.5 %

7

Paris (CDG)

98,629

23,508

122,137

5.5 %

8

Amsterdam (AMS)

68,415

37,569

105,984

4.7 %

9

Frankfurt (FRA)

79,247

14,833

94,080

4.2 %

10

Seattle (SEA)

65,084

26,839

91,923

4.1 %

11

Washington (IAD)

41,355

16,926

58,281

2.6 %

12

Helsinki (HEL)

42,004

9,265

51,269

2.3 %

13

Glasgow (GLA)

33,962

9,460

43,422

1.9 %

14

Denver (DEN)

29,781

13,638

43,419

1.9 %

15

Manchester (MAN)

37,260

5,179

42,439

1.9 %

16

Minneapolis-St.Paul (MSP)

30,801

10,709

41,510

1.9 %

17

Toronto (YYZ)

16,475

22,651

39,126

1.8 %

18

Orlando (SFB)

25,575

5,961

31,536

1.4 %

19

Munich (MUC)

25,790

5,461

31,251

1.4 %

20

Bergen (BGO)

21,304

6,845

28,149

1.3 %

TOTAL

1,684,004

548,940

2,232,944

-


 Routes Europe 2018

Routes Europe 2020
Bergen, Norway • 27 - 29 April 2020

With 45 meeting slots and unlimited networking opportunities, the event is your opportunity to engage in business-focused discussions with Europe's key decision makers.

Register now

Share this article

Download How Swedavia is setting the sustainability agenda

Why Swedavia, the owner, operator and developer of a network of Swedish airports, is at the forefront of the sustainability agenda.

Download White Paper

Comments