RICHMOND, BC, May 14, 2014 /CNW/ - The skies opened today between Vancouver, Reykjavik and more than 20 European destinations as Icelandair inaugurated its new twice-weekly, seasonal service from Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
Vancouver Airport Authority, in partnership with ground-handler Swissport International Ltd., staged a unique welcome for its newest airline partner with a group of YVR ambassadors-turned-Vikings who pulled Icelandair's Boeing 757 aircraft to its inaugural gate.
"We've been working for years to bring Icelandair to YVR and provide passengers with new connectivity between YVR and Reykjavik, and on to popular Scandinavian destinations like Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm," said Craig Richmond, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. "This service is a great example of how liberalized air-service agreements enhance travel opportunities and create jobs at YVR and in British Columbia."
Icelandair's new service will generate approximately $2 million in wages, $1.1 million in taxes and $3.1 million in GDP through employment at YVR and in B.C.'s hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. Its flights – which arrive in Vancouver at 5:50 pm on Sundays and Tuesdays and depart at 3:55 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays – will also give businesses more options to reach customers, suppliers and investors in Europe.
"We call 2014 the year of Canada for Icelandair. As we celebrate our inaugural flight from Vancouver, Icelandair now serves four Canadian gateways with service to more than 20 destinations in Europe. Our goal is to continue to grow and develop our network with added frequency and easier connections for all of Canada," said Birkir Holm Gudnason, CEO for Icelandair. "Icelandair offers our passengers a refreshing alternative when travelling to Europe with three cabins of service, leather seats, in-flight entertainment systems and, by the end of this year, Wi-Fi is scheduled to be available fleet-wide. We see a bright future for British Columbia and look forward to welcoming Vancouver onboard."
The Icelandair schedule for 2014 is the largest in the company's history and will increase by 18 per cent from 2013 with new gateways, new destinations and added frequency from several cities in North America and Europe. Additionally, three Boeing 757 aircraft will be added, enlarging the fleet from 18 to 21 aircraft.
Icelandair offers service to Iceland's Keflavik International Airport from Boston, New York-JFK, Seattle, Denver and Toronto with seasonal service from Washington, D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando Sanford, Halifax, Anchorage, Newark, Vancouver and Edmonton. Connections through Icelandair's hub at Keflavik International Airport are available to more than 20 destinations in Europe. Only Icelandair allows passengers to stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
Additional information about Icelandair's schedules, fares and packages to Iceland and beyond is available at www.icelandair.com or by calling (877) I-FLY-ICE.
About Vancouver Airport Authority
Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, YVR served a record 17.97 million passengers in 2013. Fifty-three airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 109 non-stop destinations worldwide. YVR was voted Best Airport in North America, and Best Airport in the World for its size category of 10-20 million passengers, in the 2014 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Vancouver Airport Authority is a dedicated community partner and in 2013 donated more than $700,000 to local organizations. We are committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor. For more information, please visit www.yvr.ca.
SOURCE: Vancouver Airport Authority
For further information: YVR Media Relations, 604.880.9815; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.yvr.ca, Twitter: @yvrairport