Posted by: neilh10 | October 28, 2011

Easy Jet to fly to Iceland in 2012

DV.is are reporting today that easy jet will begin flying from London to Reykjavik, in Summer 2012.

Easy Jet Airbus

The story is tied to a complex and ongoing (and not very interesting) saga regarding a former Iceland express CEO, who has announced his intention to start ‘Iceland Jet’, a new low cost airline. But details of both operations are sketchy to say the least. Easy Jet have not commented on the story in DV, so it might of course all be speculation and wild rumour.

With that caveat in mind, it would make a lot of sense for easy jet to start flying to Iceland. One of the incentives for easyjet or ryanair to start up in Iceland is that there are no restrictions on night time flying at Keflavik: they could service the route through the night when their planes would otherwise be sat on the tarmac somewhere, departing London at ca 10pm, arriving at Reykjavik at midnight, departing at 1 and arriving back at around 5am. Whether people would actually want to fly at such unsociable hours, is another matter. Probably yes, if the flights are cheap enough. There is a precedent for this: Germanwings, Air Berlin and Lufthansa follow this timetable over the summer, serving regional destinations in Germany.

An alternative would be to compete with the established operators on the London – Keflavik route: Icelandair and Iceland express, both on price (there appears to be a bit of a cartel in operation, the prices never seem to fall below £180 return: EFTA take note), and by putting on flights at different times. For instance, there is currently no morning flight from London to Reykjavik – the earliest you can get to Iceland currently is mid afternoon. If easyjet could figure out a way of putting on a flight that arrives in to Iceland at 9 – 10am, I’m sure this would appeal to business travellers and people who want to travel to onward destinations, after they have arrived in Iceland. British airways tried this for a few years but gave up in 2008 (the flightleft Gatwick at 7.30, arriving Keflavik 9.45, departing at 10.30 and arriving back at gatwick at 14.35, x5 times per week), presumably because the economic problems in Iceland reduced demand from business travellers on this route.

But overall, competition on the route is probably good news for customers like you and me. I’ll follow this story closely and report back as it evolves.

Update 01/11

Ok, I’ve heard back from easy jet who have offered the following comments on the DV.IS report.

easyJet is always assessing new opportunities to develop its network and better serve the local demand. Should there be, any new route announcement will be done in due course.

No formal announcement then. Not yet, anyway.

photo from flickr. h/t to the Iceland weather report for the link.

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Responses

  1. Great article and very informative. Thanks for taking the time to write it and post it!


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