From Iceland — Minister Of Transport Speaks Out On Icelandair

Minister Of Transport Speaks Out On Icelandair

Published March 31, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Minister of Transport Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson told MBL that while it is important to secure transport to and from the country, limiting such transport is also crucial. He also mentioned that the government will pay for Icelandair’s losses due to a strict limitation on air travel to Europe and the United States.

“There are many countries and regions that have closed borders and airports,” he said. “As a result, most airlines have cancelled flights, and it is clear that Icelandair could not manage if we hadn’t stepped in. We considered it important, and are willing to cover certain costs so we don’t lose them due to a shortage of flights.”

The Minister of Transport went on to implore Icelanders who are abroad to come home. Icelandair will continue to travel to Boston, London, and Stockholm, and in addition to foreigners returning to their homelands to be with their families, Icelanders will be able to return to Iceland on these flights.

The agreement stipulates a minimum of six flights to each destination over the next three weeks. The government will pay a maximum of 100 million ISK to the airline, which will be repaid at a later date. The agreement could be extended beyond just three weeks, and most likely will be if things continue to develop in the same way.

As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.

Tune into our daily COVID-Cast for a deeper dive into the day’s developments.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

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