Yesterday, 9th March 2016, Icelandair started a new year-round service from Aberdeen International Airport (ABZ) to Reykjavik (KEF).The new gateway will become Icelandair’s second in Scotland and sixth in the UK. Flights will operate four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
The flight to Reykjavik (KEF) will provide easy connections to Icelandair’s 16 gateways in North America and reduce current travel times by up to several hours. Icelandair destinations in North America include New York, Orlando, Seattle, Toronto and recently announced Chicago starting on 16th March and Montreal on 19th May.
Andres Jónsson, General Manager UK & Ireland for Icelandair and Arni Gunnarsson MD of Air Iceland arrived into Aberdeen this morning on the inaugural flight to be greeted by Carol Benzie, MD of Aberdeen International Airport amongst other dignitaries.Andres said:
“It was a pleasure to be able to announce Aberdeen in the same year we celebrated 70 years of flying to Scotland. We see great opportunities in connecting this market to our route network of North American destinations. Travel times will be shortened and we’re confident customers will appreciate the easy connections through our hub in Iceland”.
Carol Benzie, MD at Aberdeen International Airport said:
“We are very excited about the arrival of Icelandair at Aberdeen and we’re confident that the new service is going to be incredibly popular, both amongst our leisure and our business travellers. Aberdeen is also an enticing destination for the North American market, and this new route opens up new links to cities such as New York, Toronto and Chicago.
“We are looking forward to developing a fruitful partnership with Icelandair and to ensuring the airline’s success and growth at Aberdeen over the years ahead.”
Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said:
“It is fantastic to see this important new service get underway today and I congratulate everyone involved in getting it off the ground.
“As well as being the gateway to Iceland, Keflavik is also an important hub airport offering onward travel to a wide selection of destinations, including the United States of America and Canada. The business community in Aberdeen and the North East is sure to benefit from improved access to international markets and this new link will no doubt prove popular with tourists too.
“Following devolution of powers over Air Passenger Duty (APD) to the Scottish Parliament, we will look to attract more direct services to Scotland’s airports by beginning to reduce the burden of APD by 50% from April 2018, and abolishing it entirely when public finances allow.
“I wish Aberdeen Airport and Icelandair every success with this new route.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:
“This new route is fantastic news for tourism in Aberdeen and adds to the burgeoning number of direct international flights to Scotland, which is key to growing the visitor economy.
“Our North American friends continue to be our biggest international inbound visitor market with more than half of visitors attracted to Scotland by its awe-inspiring scenery, such as the beautiful Royal Deeside, while the proposed new AECC will further enhance business tourism opportunities.
“With the launch our global Spirit of Scotland campaign, we hope this year-round service will encourage even more visitors from the United States and Canada to make the journey to our shores to discover their new spiritual home.”
Chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce Russell Borthwick said:
“Businesses in Aberdeen will welcome the exciting news that the city has a new carrier and this investment by Icelandair shows confidence in the region.
“Our connections to global markets are vital to the continuing prosperity of the North-east with many businesses looking to grow through their international activities. These new routes to North America will help them access new markets in which to do business.
“We also welcome the expected boost to our tourism industry from Icelandic visitors.”
“Aberdeen International Airport has worked hard to secure this partnership with Icelandair, and we wish both of them every success with the route.”
The new Aberdeen-Reykjavik service is operated on behalf of Icelandair by Air Iceland, a subsidiary of Icelandair Group. The aircraft used is a Bombardier Q400 that seats 72 passengers and offers passengers two cabins of travel to choose from, Economy and Economy Comfort.
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Notes to Editors
- Icelandair’s geographic position on the shortest flight path between UK and North America means it offers the quickest route to many of the existing 16 gateways they fly to.
- Currently Icelandair fly from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow airports via Iceland to Anchorage, Vancouver, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Toronto, Orlando, Washington DC, New York (JFK & Newark), Boston, Halifax, Chicago and Montreal. Icelandair bagan flights from Aberdeen airport on 9th March 2015 operated by sister airline Air Iceland.
- Only Icelandair allows passengers to take an Icelandair Stopover for up to seven nights at no additional airfare.
- Website www.icelandair.co.uk for bookings or customer service contact +44 (0) 20 7874 1000
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- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016
- 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- Join the conversation at #IAD2016
- Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme