Largest Number of Passengers in 15 Months
A total of 10,580 passengers went through Keflavík International Airport on Saturday – the largest number in more than 15 months, or since March 13, 2020, mbl.is reports, quoting a press release from Isavia, the company that operates the airport.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, US authorities imposed a travel ban to the US on March 14 last year, resulting in a sharp drop in the number of passengers at Keflavík International Airport the following week. Starting March 23, traffic through the airport was minimal and the connecting center between Europe and North America was closed. Presently, COVID-19 vaccinated Americans or previously infected ones can arrive in Iceland without restrictions.
In addition to the increase in tourist numbers in recent weeks, it is now clear that at least 20 airlines will offer service to and from Keflavík International Airport this summer. The latest one to be added to that list is the new Icelandic airline Play. Icelandair has increased the number of departures every week, and United Airlines started offering service to Chicago last week.
“There are brighter times ahead in the operation of airports and airlines, following tough times during the pandemic,” states Guðmundur Daði Rúnarsson, Isavia’s managing director of business and development.
He adds that the coming days could be very busy and service, therefore, slow at the terminal, due to disease prevention efforts.
He notes that how things develop this winter for airline operation and service in the tourism industry depends to a great extent on how well everything goes in July and August. “We at Isavia work with the airlines at ensuring increased supply of flights during the wintertime,” he states. Every new airline and every new destination adds to the number of people who want to visit Iceland, creating more opportunities for the Icelandic economy, he concludes.