Posted by: neilh10 | March 8, 2011

A new option to fly to Iceland this summer: Germanwings

As I covered previously, Icelandair and Iceland express are the two airlines that fly directly from the UK to Iceland. If you want to fly to Iceland, these are the two best places to start looking for a flight.

However, they are not the only airlines that can get you to Iceland. In the summer, particularly, there are other options.

Germanwings Airbus A319 D-AKNM (from Flickr

Germanwings will fly you to Iceland, from London stansted. The journey takes seven hours. It departs at 3pm on Thursday, and arrives in to Keflavik at midnight. On the return leg, it leaves Keflavik just after midnight on Monday and Friday, and arrives in at London Stansted at 7am the following day. On each leg, you need to change flights in Cologne.

Unless you happen to like flying through the middle of the night and or enjoy looking around provincial German airports, the only practical advantage I can think of through using this service is the return trip connects pretty well with the domestic flight back from Isafjordur to Reykjavik. So you could, in theory, leave Flateyri at about 5pm, get back to Reykjavik at 6.30, have dinner in Reykjavik and then go straight to the airport to fly home overnight, saving on the cost of a hotel stay in Reykjavik and catching up on sleep the next day.

Germanwings are currently selling through flights from £109 each way on this route, including tax (but excluding hold baggage, which is extra), so overall the price (if you can get a good deal) works out about the same as Icelandair/Iceland express.

Scandinavian Airlines (via oslo), Lufthansa (via hamburg) and Air Berlin (via dusseldorf) all similarly offer connecting flights, from regional airports in the UK, but when I looked the prices were all around £400 – £500 roundtrip, so probably no incentive there. Most of these flights only operate in summertime.

From France, Transavia fly from Paris Orly to Reykjavik, from 120 Euros each way. However, they don’t have any connecting flights to destinations in the UK.

Overall, given their expense, I doubt these these services are likely to be of any practical use to travellers from the UK, but it is worth being aware that they exist. I notice that both Icelandair and Iceland express have hiked up their prices now, in anticipation of the summer season, so they might well save you some money.

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Responses

  1. I flew with all three companies, Germanwings in 2009 (from Cologne), Icelandexpress in 2010 (from Rotterdam) and Icelandair in 2011 (from Amsterdam. Best service at the best price was Germanwings. Although Germanwings is a low budget company, just like Icelandexpress, they offer the best service, drinks and small snacks are included. Handluggage 10kg (Icelandair only 6kg, which is way to little when carying an lot of photographic equipment). Germanwings also offers the possibility to add extra kg’s for just a few extra euro’s. Other companies will charge you absurd amounts for an extra kilo. Icelandexpress is very basic but OK, they flew right on time, which i’m unable to say about Icelandair last winter. Due to technical reasons, we had a delay of eight hours. It was a cheap flight though, just 200,= euros for a return ticket, my cheapest flight to Iceland until now. Unfortunately Icelandexpress stopped their service from the Netherlands, so the only options available are Germanwings and Icelandexpress. When i travel light, Icelandair is just fine, when I have to cary a lot of equipment, Germanwings is the better choice. From my hometown, Cologne is just as far as Amsterdam, so my dicision will depend on price and available seats in 2012.


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