Posted by: neilh10 | October 4, 2012

easyjet increase icelandic schedule, same rubbish timings.

From the easyjet website:

easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, announced today the addition of two new routes from Manchester and Edinburgh to Reykjavik, which will begin in March 2013. Iceland is renowned for its geothermal hot springs, ethereal glaciers and magical views of the Northern Lights – as well as its volcanoes.

Twice weekly flights will leave Edinburgh and Manchester from 14 and 21 March 2013 respectively. The flights will leave Edinburgh on Monday’s and Thursdays and Manchester on Thursdays and Sundays.

Earlier this year, easyJet operated its inaugural flight to Reykjavik from London Luton – a route which has proved popular with passengers both in the UK and Iceland. The Luton – Reykjavik service is now being increased from three to four flights per week throughout the year, bringing the total number of easyJet flights to the destination to eight per week from next March. The additional flight will operate on a Friday.

Paul Simmons, UK Director at easyJet, commented:

“We’re delighted to be expanding our flights from the UK to Reykjavik in response to the route’s growing popularity. The destination is proving popular for leisure and business travelers alike with easyJet fares available from as little as £24.99 (one way including taxes).

“easyJet has carried almost 30,000 passengers between London and Reykjavik since its London Luton service to the city launched in March and we anticipate over 75,000 more passengers will take advantage of the easy and affordable flights from Manchester and Edinburgh next Summer.”

“We’re confident that uptake from passengers in both Manchester and Scotland will help the UK’s connections with Iceland to go from strength to strength.”

Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, Iceland’s Minister of Industries, Innovation and Tourism commented:

easyJet’s decision is a positive step and a sign of confidence in the Icelandic economy.

“It’s terrific news that easyJet is increasing its services and adding these new routes to Reykjavik. We have a wealth of beauty, history and wonders to explore. There really is something for everyone, all year round and we welcome the expansion.”

The only problem with these flights is that – in the case of London/Manchester – they leave at 6am in the morning, and return at 10 am. The timings are just useless. Why would you get up at 2am to get a 6am flight, when you could fly out the night before? And as for coming back. 10am is just a rubbish time, because you need to get the bus from Reykjavik at like 7am, so you miss your breakfast entirely, and then you get home at like 4pm, so you basically spent an entire day in transit. Not much fun.

The Edinburgh times are much better (leaving at 6PM, arriving back at 11pm), but thats not much use unless you live in Edinburgh.

On balance, I think its good thing that easyJet are serving the icelandic routes, mainly because it gives people more choice and they don’t get stuck with a whacking great £500 bill if they need to fly back with Icelandair at short notice. But, as I have said previously, the actual experience is pretty miserable, Luton Airport is a horrible place at 6am and a difficult place to get to. 

I always thought it would make more sense for easyJet to serve the Icelandic route through the night as some German carriers do, eg leave the UK at midnight and return at 7am. Or leave at 5pm and return at midnight. They probably don’t care what I think and they are obviously making a good profit on the route, so good for them. 

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