First Delta Flight Lands in Keflavík
An aircraft from Delta Air Lines landed at Keflavík International Airport yesterday – the first scheduled Delta flight to Iceland this season, Morgunblaðið reports. It was one of nine flights from nine different countries that arrived at the airport yesterday.
The majority of the passengers on board the almost fully-booked Delta flight were Amercan tourists, already vaccinated for COVID-19. Starting May 20, Delta will be offering daily flights from Boston to Keflavík, and beginning May 27, daily flights will be offered from Minneapolis.
There is much interest in visiting Iceland this summer, and bookings keep coming in. Erling Aspelund, owner of the travel company Iceland Encounter, states that the number of bookings rose sharply and suddenly following the Icelandic government’s announcement that the border would be opened up to vaccinated tourists from outside the Schengen area.
He notes that vaccinations are proceeding well in the US, and this affects people’s attitude. “People are full of self-confidence and willingness to travel,” he states. “But their choice of destinations is limited, so when Iceland opened up, it caught attention right away, which we noticed.” Iceland Encounter offers tailored trips for tourists, and 90 percent of their customers in recent years have come from the US. Erling and his wife Kristín Björnsdóttir run the company. They have now been able to rehire staff after being forced to lay off people during the pandemic.
Skarphéðinn Berg Steinarsson, director of the Icelandic Tourist Board, tells Morgunblaðið there are indications May will be a good month in terms of tourism. “Bookings are picking up, not only for the spring, but for summer and into fall as well – clear signs of recovery,” he states. “This is a good start,” he concludes.