Iceland’s border reopening triggers Delta growth

Iceland’s decision to open its borders to vaccinated travelers is prompting the carrier to launch a new route to the country in May, as well as resuming two other services.

Delta Air Lines is to offer flights from three US destinations to Iceland this summer after the country became the first in Europe to allow entry for fully vaccinated Americans. 

A new daily service from Boston Logan (BOS) to Reykjavík’s Keflavík International (KEF) will begin in May on board a 193-seat Boeing 757-200 aircraft, alongside the resumption of daily flights from New York John F Kennedy (JFK) and Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP).

“We know our customers are eager to safely get back out into the world, including exploring one of the globe’s most beautiful outdoor destinations,” SVP network planning Joe Esposito said. 

“As confidence in travel rises, we hope more countries continue reopening to vaccinated travelers, which mean more opportunities to reconnect customers to the people and places that matter most.”

Iceland announced earlier this month that international travelers, including those from the US, can visit the country once they can demonstrate proof of vaccination against COVID-19. 

The move positioned Iceland as the first in the EU/Schengen area to allow entry to vaccinated passengers from anywhere in the world. It means travelers will not be subject to border measures including on-arrival testing or quarantine.  

Delta’s JFK-KEF service will resume on May 1 using a 168-seat 757-200 aircraft with Delta One lie flat seats. The MSP-KEF service restarts on May 27, also on board 193-seat 757-200 equipment.

More Iceland coverage

OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Icelandair is currently the only provider of scheduled services between the US and Iceland, serving BOS-KEF 2X-weekly. However, eight more US destinations are set to be reinstated over the coming weeks as the carrier ramps up capacity between the two countries. 

JFK, Newark Liberty (EWR) and Orlando (MCO) return to Icelandair’s network on April 21, followed by Chicago O'Hare (ORD), MSP and Washington Dulles (IAD) on April 30. Denver (DEN) and Seattle (SEA) resume on May 1. 

By w/c May 10, the OAG data shows Icelandair intends to offer about 24,500 two-way seats between Iceland and the US. This compares with 37,000 during the same week in 2019. 

United Airlines is also set to restore Iceland to its network in June. The carrier plans to fly EWR-KEF daily using 757-200s.