Entries in Iceland (10)

Tuesday
Jun212011

Air Berlin starts Hamburg-Keflavík non-stop route

The German semi-low-cost airline Air Berlin has commenced twice-weekly non-stop service between the Hanseatic city on the River Elbe, Hamburg, and the Icelandic town whose name means "driftwood bay" in the local language.  The route between Hamburg's Fuhlsbüttel Airport (IATA: HAM; ICAO: EDDH) and Keflavík International Airport (IATA: KEF; ICAO: BIKF), on a southwestern promontory of the volcanic island nation in the north Atlantic, will operate two times a week, on Sunday and Thursday.  The flights are about 3 hours 20 minutes each, in both directions.  The route will be flown with the Airbus A319.

Keflavík International was built in 1942 by the American military, which called it the United States Naval Air Station Keflavík, or NASKEF.  Keflavík International is the only year-round  international gateway (by air) in Iceland.  It is about 31 miles (50 kilometers) west of Reykjavík, the capital.  A plain near the Icelandic national capital was the site of the A.D. 930 establishment of the world's oldest continuously functioning parliamentary body.  This is now an Icelandic national park, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

[There is no source because this exotic bit of news was hardly reported at all in the Anglophone press.  A bracketed date notation on the English language Wikipedia article for Keflavík International Airport, under Airlines and Destinations, tipped off the webmaster of this site, who decided to report on it.  All articles which inspired this in one way or another were translated from German or Icelandic using Google Translate.

Searches for the route on Air Berlin's website, and on www.kayak.com/flights, are successful, for Sunday and/or Thursday flights.]

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Wednesday
Jun012011

Delta inaugurates New York-Iceland non-stop route

Delta Air Lines, the world's largest airline by passengers carried, is now the first United States-based carrier in 40 years to operate regular service between the New York metro area and Iceland non-stop.  Late this evening, at 11:35 EDT, the inaugural flight for this new route is scheduled to depart from Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK) in the New York borough of Queens.  The flight will be operated with the Boeing 757-200, according to Delta's press release on the subject, and is scheduled to arrive at Keflavík International Airport (IATA: KEF; ICAO: BIKF), at 9:20 in the morning the next day, local time.  The return flight is scheduled to leave Keflavík daily at 10:50 in the morning, local time, and arrive back in New York at 12:55 in the afternoon, local time.

Keflavík International is 31 miles (50 kilometers) west of the Icelandic capital city, Reykjavík.

Delta's senior vice president for New York, Gail Grimmett, mentioned the airline's emphasis on incorporating "unique destinations" and "growing but underserved global markets" into its list of destinations, suggesting that this new route targets both business travelers and leisure travelers.  Grimmett pointed out that Delta is now the only airline in the SkyTeam Alliance to offer a New York-Iceland route.

Delta Air Lines pilot John Magnusson made a blog post on Delta's official website earlier today, about his thoughts and feelings on being the pilot to fly the inaugural round trip.

The airline that became Delta Air Lines began flying passengers in 1929.  Delta relocated to Atlanta in 1941, and operates its largest hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta (IATA: ATL; ICAO: KATL).  It became the world’s largest airline by passengers carried when its merger with Northwest Airlines was completed last year.  Two other airlines fly non-stop between the New York metro area and Iceland.  Iceland's flag carrier airline Icelandair flies the route from Kennedy International and back, and the budget airline Iceland Express flies the route from Liberty International Airport (IATA: EWR; ICAO: KEWR) in Newark, New Jersey and back.

original stories

Delta Air Lines to Connect New York, Iceland (Delta Air Lines)

Captain's View: JFK Inaugural Flight to Iceland (Delta Air Lines)

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Thursday
May262011

Iceland's Grímsvötn erupts; only 500 flights cancelled

The Icelandic volcano Grímsvötn began spewing ash and smoke into the air last Saturday, but will not cause near the disruption to trans-Atlantic air traffic that the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull did last spring.  Two large Irish airlines, Aer Lingus and Ryanair, have had to cancel dozens of flights over volcanic ash-related concerns, according to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).  And the total number of flights cancelled across Europe due to the eruption is around 500.

But Iceland itself expects no major disruption to its travel industry as a result.  The country's Director General of Tourism, Olof Yr Atladottir, said that hotel bookings, tour bookings, and other tourist services are not decreasing.  The site www.icenews.is reported that this summer is still expected to be "one of [Iceland's] biggest travel summers to date."  Though there are small amounts of ash lingering over northern Scandinavia and Russia, the (nearly) pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol also expects very little, if any, additional disruption to air traffic over Europe because of the eruption.

original stories

Ireland steers clear of volcano woes as 500 flights in Europe are grounded (Irish Central)

'Little harm done' to Iceland tourism sector (IceNews)

Eurocontrol: No major impact on air traffic anticipated in next 24 hours (Washington Post)

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Sunday
Sep052010

Four 787 jets being tested in extreme conditions by Boeing

The Boeing Company is testing five 787 Dreamliner model aircraft under various conditions, four of them rather extreme.  The five test airplanes are labeled by Boeing ZA001, ZA002, ZA003, ZA004, and ZA005.

ZA001 is being tested at the Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico (IATA: ROW; ICAO: KROW) for brake performance following simulated “rejected takeoffs.”  This will be the second visit of ZA001 to Roswell, where it underwent wet-runway testing last month.  ZA002 is undergoing cold-weather and high-latitude testing at Keflavik International Airport in Iceland (IATA: KEF; ICAO: BIKF).  ZA003 is being tested for durability in extreme heat, in Yuma, Arizona.  ZA004 is in Victorville, California doing “flight loads survey testing.”  This type of test “measures external pressure distributions throughout the flight envelope.”  And finally, ZA005 has undergone natural and artificial “ice shape testing,” to determine how well the aircraft performs in the presence of ice.

These tests are required for type certification.  In May, United States-based Continental Airlines became the first airline in the world to assign the Dreamliner to a route, when it announced that it would fly non-stop from its Houston, Texas hub (IATA: IAH; ICAO: KIAH) to Auckland, New Zealand (IATA: AKL; ICAO: NZAA).  Japan-based All Nippon Airways is scheduled to be the first customer of Boeing to receive a shipment of 787 Dreamliner aircraft.  All Nippon has 55 Dreamliners on order, one of which suffered an engine test failure in the United Kingdom last month.

Although the initial deliveries of the 787 by Boeing to its customers were scheduled to take place sometime during the final quarter of this year, those deliveries may be pushed back to 2011.

The Boeing Company is an American-based aircraft manufacturer founded in Seattle, Washington in 1916 as Pacific Aero Products.  It was renamed for its founder William Boeing three years later.  Boeing relocated its corporate offices from Seattle to Chicago, Illinois in 2001.

related stories

Engine of 787 meant for All Nippon Airways fails test (August 23, 2010)

787 Dreamliner to visit Farnborough International Air Show (July 18, 2010)

Boeing has released the probable configuration of a stretch 787 (July 1, 2010)

787 stabilizer problems will not change timetable, Boeing says (June 27, 2010)

Dreamliner struck by lightning during test last month (June 20, 2010)

original stories

Boeing goes to extremes to test its new 787 jet (HeraldNet)

Boeing Conducts Remote 787 Testing (WKRN Nashville Online)

Wednesday
Jun302010

Aeroflot flight diverts and kicks drunks off plane

An Aeroflot Russian Airlines cabin crew ran out of patience with two intoxicated air travelers last Saturday, on a flight from Russia to Cuba.  Over the North Atlantic, the two got unruly to the point that the captain of the Airbus A330-200 decided to divert to Keflavik International Airport in Iceland (IATA: KEF; ICAO: BIKF) and turn the offenders over the Icelandic police.

The flight had taken off from Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow (IATA: SVO; ICAO: UUEE), and landed at Jose Martí International Airport near Havana, Cuba (IATA: HAV; ICAO: MUHA) two and half hours late.

original stories

Aeroflot Punishes On-board Troublemakers (Aeroflot Russian Airlines)