Local airline company Air Iceland Connect, better known for its overpriced domestic flights, will soon stop flying directly from Keflavík to Akureyri, in the north of Iceland, as well as to and from Britain.
Air Iceland Connect has provided flights from the National Airport in Reykjavík to Akureyri for decades, but it was not until last year that they began offering direct flights from Iceland’s International Airport in the hopes of facilitating transports for tourists and alleviating the traffic on Route 1. However, according to company director Árni Gunnarsson who was interviewed by news website Tourist, the flights in question weren’t as successful as the company had hoped.
The direct flights from Keflavík to Akureyri were also supposed to offer tourists an incentive to visit the north without having to go through the capital area, thus boosting tourism in more remote areas of the country. Arnheiður Jóhansdóttir, manager of local tourism organisation Visit North Iceland, called the decision “disappointing,” adding that the market for the flights does indeed exist but hasn’t been explored properly. “This connecting flight is really important for us in order to attract tourists to the north of Iceland,” she told RÚV. “Our next step will be to find another company that is willing to take this project and do it well.”
Air Iceland Connect will also stop flying to and from Britain, right before the summer. The company had been offering direct flights to Aberdeen in Scotland and Belfast in Northern Ireland about two years ago. Árni names Brexit amongst the influencing factors, but the decision came almost immediately after realising that as soon as the supply of flights connecting Iceland and Britain had increased, the demand had drastically decreased. Air Iceland Connect, however, isn’t the only company cutting their ties to Britain: WOW Air stopped flying to Bristol last year, while Icelandair will soon stop offering flights to Birmingham. No flights to and from London seem to have changed.