07/06/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/06/2021 02:32
This past Saturday, 3 July,10,580 passengers passed through Keflavík Airport. That many passengers have not passed through the airport in one day since 13 March 2020, or just over 15 months ago. The next day, 14 March 2020, the US authorities imposed a travel ban on passengers to the US due to COVID-19, reducing the number of passengers through Keflavík Airport significantly the following week. From 23 March, there was very little traffic through the airport and the connecting hub between Europe and North America shut down. The ban is still in force, and it is uncertain when it will be lifted. However, there has been a change in that fully vaccinated Americans or those who have previously contracted COVID-19 can now travel to Iceland without border restrictions.
In addition to the increase in passengers that has taken place in recent weeks, it is clear that at least 20 airlines will have flights to and from Keflavík Airport this summer. The latest addition to that group is Play airlines. Icelandair has increased the number of departures every week, and the American airline United Airlines began flights to Chicago last week. That is a new destination for United from Keflavík Airport.
'There are brighter times ahead in the operation of airports and airlines after difficult times due to the pandemic,' says Guðmundur Daði Rúnarsson, Director of Business and Development at Isavia. 'It is clear that Icelandair's connecting hub is starting up again. The successful share offering of Play and a new core investor at Icelandair show that the market has great faith in flights to Iceland and the country as a destination now that vaccinations have eased the pandemic's hold.
Rúnarsson says, however, that it is important to keep in mind that the next few days could be very busy and processing is slow at the airport while the current infection prevention measures of the health authorities are followed regarding arriving passengers at Leifur Eiríksson Airport.
'In addition to this, I should mention that how successful the flight operations and services to tourists in Iceland are in July and August is very important for the development this coming winter,' says Rúnarsson. 'We at Isavia work hard with the airlines to ensure an increased supply of flights during the winter. There is a lot of interest in Iceland, and with each new airline and each new destination, the number of people who want to visit us increases, and the opportunities for the Icelandic business sector to enter new markets are still increasing.'