In 2008 I was lucky enough to visit Isafjordur in the remote north of Iceland, whilst on my honeymoon. It’s a spectacular place, and even better for the enthusiast is that its tiny airport is like the old Kai Tak in Hong Kong. Aircraft approaching need to hug the mountain, and then make a tight turn. And on takeoff, it’s an immediate turn to avoid hitting the mountain dead ahead!
I recently found this video showing a Fokker 50 departing Isafjordur and making that turn. Enjoy!
A new airline from Iceland is set to enter the low-cost stage, competing directly with Icelandair, Iceland Express and the growing number of airlines operating from Europe to the North Atlantic island.
The airline is to start operations on 1 June 2012, using a fleet of Airbus A320s.
Initial destinations from the Keflavik base are: Alicante, Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin Brandenburg, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Krakow, London Stansted, Lyon, Paris CDG, Stuttgart, Warsaw and Zurich.
You’ll notice most of these destinations are already strongholds of other carriers on the route.
Sadly Astraeus Airlines ceased operations this week due to financial problems and the lack of work over winter months.
There may be hope, as celebrity pilot and Marketing Director for the airline – Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden fame) – has vowed to save it in some form, and secure the jobs and operating style of the airline.
But in the meantime, it has left Iceland Express in the lurch as they used Boeing 737s of Astraeus on a number of routes. Therefore, they have drafted in the help of Holidays Czech Airlines and their Airbus A320s, which will be operating on routes out of Keflavik to places such as Copenhagen, London Gatwick, Alicante, Oslo, New York, Berlin and Warsaw.
I don’t yet know whether this is an interim measure, or if the deal will last indefinitely, but it at least gives those of you at those airports something interesting to look out for!