GatwickAirport, London’s second largest international airport, announced today that Icelandair - the national flag carrier of Iceland - is to expand its London network by starting twice-weekly flights from Gatwick to Keflavik International Airport - 50 km from the capital Reykjavik. Services will start from 18 October 2012.
The timing of these flights have been carefully selected to allow Gatwick’s passengers to take advantage of an ideal winter weekend city break and experience the popular Northern Lights - one of nature’s most spectacular sights - and also provide the opportunity to tap into Iceland’s extensive route network throughout the United States of America and Canada to popular destinations such as New York, Boston, Seattle and Denver.
Icelandair will depart from Gatwick on Thursday’s and Sunday’s and will operate the Boeing 757-200 aircraft, which flies 189 passengers in a three-class cabin layout.
Guy Stephenson, GatwickAirport’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “We are very excited to be welcoming Icelandair to Gatwick and to be given the opportunity to support them and their plans for growth in London. For passengers living in London and the South East, this move will give them greater choices over how to reach this wonderful country and join connecting flights to key cities across North America.
“We are competing with other London airports to attract major airlines such as Icelandair, and to help them grow and meet rising travel demands. Gatwick currently has more than 20% spare capacity on its single runway, and so we are in a great position to accommodate new airlines and ensure that London remains one of the best connected cities in the world.”
Birkir Holm Gudnason, Icelandair’s CEO said: “Operating from Gatwick will give our UK customers greater choice. Over the past few years we have seen a surge in demand for winter travel to Iceland due to the popularity of the Northern Lights, year-round whale watching and events like Iceland Airwaves. Gatwick will also give us the option of further growth in London and provide a link to our many partners with connecting flights to destinations throughout Europe and more remote destinations in Asia.”
Icelandair is one of a number of airlines that Gatwick has attracted recently. Vietnam Airlines launched flights from Gatwick to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City last December and Hong Kong Airlines launched a unique all-Club class service to Hong Kong in March. Korean Air will be launching a London-Seoul service this April, and Air China a London-Beijing service this May. Other new airlines to join Gatwick include Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.