First Belfast to Iceland flight launched

Published Tuesday, 08 July 2014
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easyjet has launched a direct flight from Belfast to the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik.

First Belfast to Iceland flight launched
The flight will depart from Belfast International Airport. (© Pacemaker)

The carrier is the only airline offering a flight from the island of Ireland to Iceland.

The connection, from Belfast International Airport, will first take off on 12 December and will operate twice a week all year round.

easyJet expects to carry around 30,000 passengers to Reykjavik during the first 12 months.

Fares went on sale on Tuesday, starting from £31.99 per person.

The route will be operated using a 156 seater Airbus A319.

Belfast will become easyJet's seventh direct flight to Reykjavik.

A statement from the airline said that tourism in Iceland has increased by 40% over the last two years, helped by the introduction of affordable flights.

 

Ali Gayward, easyJet's Head of Northern Ireland, said: "We are pleased to have introduced Ireland's only direct link to Iceland, offering a year round service with a flight time of just over two hours.

"It is particularly exciting to be introducing such a unique and exciting route to our base at Belfast International and we're confident it will provide a popular addition to easyJet's network.

"We believe the breath taking scenery and culture on offer in both Iceland and Ireland will deliver strong tourism benefits for both countries."

Uel Hoey, of Belfast International Airport, said: "The addition of Reykjavik opens up direct channels for Icelandic tourists to visit the entire island of Ireland via Belfast as an entry point, adding welcome revenue to our local economy.

"One of our key priorities is to invest in the provision of new and vital direct access channels from key source markets and the introduction of this new service, the only air link between the island of Ireland and Iceland, is a clear manifestation of this commitment."

As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated - they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.

Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, said that she was delighted that easyJet have chosen Northern Ireland, and Belfast International Airport, as the base for their new route to Iceland.

"Air connectivity is crucial for our economy and this route provides direct access to a new market, creating opportunities for both local businesses and the tourism market. I congratulate easyJet on this new venture and their ongoing commitment to Northern Ireland."

Tourism Ireland said that the new service will certainly help boost leisure travel from Iceland to Belfast and Northern Ireland.

The tourist board said that working with relevant partners to attract new and additional direct air access services, and continuing to highlight ease of access to Northern Ireland from key markets on existing routes, are major priorities for them.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "Today's announcement is good news for tourism. We already work closely with easyJet and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximise the promotion of this new service from Keflavik International Airport."

He added: "Tourism Ireland is committed to working with easyJet, Belfast International Airport and other tourism interests, through co-operative marketing, to drive demand for this new service - as we work with other carriers and partners to promote and help maintain vital routes and services to Northern Ireland."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
18 Comments
Jón in Republic of Ireland wrote (60 days ago):
Bring back flights to Iceland from Dublin :(
Paul Murphy in Milton Keynes wrote (68 days ago):
I wish I still lived in Belfast..though they probably fly from an airport near me anyway..Iceland is one of the most amazing places to visit if its not just warmer weather you want..If only they started these flights before Tuesday though as they'd fill the seats easily
bob in east belfast wrote (68 days ago):
now mum can really go to Iceland's.
Portrush traveller in Portrush wrote (69 days ago):
I can't believe many n.i. residents will want to fly to Iceland Easyjet would be better introducing flights to Brussels
andy in belfast wrote (69 days ago):
great news,now we can leave a cold place to go to an even colder place.????? may make more sense to put on more direct flights to somewhere that's a wee bit warmer.....don"t forget over 750,000 northern Ireland people "have to fly from Dublin airport" every year cause there are next to no flights from aldergrove,
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