Icelandair (Keflavik) yesterday (May 14) opened a new route to Vancouver, British Columbia (YVR). The airport issued this statement on its special “Viking” arrival ceremony:
The skies opened on May 14 between Vancouver, Reykjavik and more than 20 European destinations as Icelandair inaugurated its new twice-weekly, seasonal service from Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
Vancouver Airport Authority, in partnership with ground-handler Swissport International Ltd., staged a unique welcome for its newest airline partner with a group of YVR ambassadors-turned-Vikings who pulled Icelandair’s Boeing 757 aircraft to its inaugural gate.
“We’ve been working for years to bring Icelandair to YVR and provide passengers with new connectivity between YVR and Reykjavik, and on to popular Scandinavian destinations like Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm,” said Craig Richmond, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “This service is a great example of how liberalized air-service agreements enhance travel opportunities and create jobs at YVR and in British Columbia.”
Icelandair’s new service will generate approximately $2 million in wages, $1.1 million in taxes and $3.1 million in GDP through employment at YVR and in B.C.’s hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. Its flights – which arrive in Vancouver at 5:50 pm on Sundays and Tuesdays and depart at 3:55 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays – will also give businesses more options to reach customers, suppliers and investors in Europe.
“We call 2014 the year of Canada for Icelandair. As we celebrate our inaugural flight from Vancouver, Icelandair now serves four Canadian gateways with service to more than 20 destinations in Europe. Our goal is to continue to grow and develop our network with added frequency and easier connections for all of Canada,” said Birkir Holm Gudnason, CEO for Icelandair. “Icelandair offers our passengers a refreshing alternative when travelling to Europe with three cabins of service, leather seats, in-flight entertainment systems and, by the end of this year, Wi-Fi is scheduled to be available fleet-wide. We see a bright future for British Columbia and look forward to welcoming Vancouver onboard.”
The Icelandair schedule for 2014 is the largest in the company‘s history and will increase by 18 per cent from 2013 with new gateways, new destinations and added frequency from several cities in North America and Europe. Additionally, three Boeing 757 aircraft will be added, enlarging the fleet from 18 to 21 aircraft.
Icelandair offers service to Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport 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 Icelandair’s hub at Keflavik International Airport are available to more than 20 destinations in Europe. Only Icelandair allows passengers to stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
Copyright Photos: Vancouver International Airport. A tug decorated like a Viking ship tows an Icelandair Boeing 757-256 (TF-LLX, msn 29311) aircraft to th gate at Vancouver International Airport, during a photo opportunity to mark the airline’s inaugural service between Vancouver and Keflavik (near Reykjavik), Iceland on May 14, 2014.