Iceland Express is resuming flights between Stansted and Keflavik in Reykjavik just six months after cutting the route from its schedule.
The twice-weekly service will begin in November and will fly on Monday and Friday. It was pulled in May when the budget airline moved its operations to Gatwick. But following demand, Iceland Express has restarted the route, which will be in addition to Gatwick services and a new route from Birmingham due to start next year.
Iceland Express chief executive Matthias Imsland said: “Demand for flights between the UK and Iceland is stronger than ever and we wanted to cater for this popularity. We have always had good relations at Stansted, so it seemed natural to fly from there once again.
“We were getting lots of requests to move back to the airport from customers who used the service regularly,” Imsland added.
Iceland, which was hit by the global economic meltdown, has seen an upsurge in inbound tourism with a record number of foreign tourists visiting in August. But while demand for the destination is on the increase, visitor numbers from the UK are down, partly because there have been fewer flights to the country.
Icelandic Tourism Board marketing manager UK and Ireland Sigga Groa Thórarinsdóttir said: “Iceland’s visitor numbers have been affected by the slowdown in the UK travel market – January to August arrivals were down 13% on 2008 figures.
“Reductions in flights were a big factor in this. However, the good news is that this trend is being reversed. We have just seen the return of Icelandair’s Glasgow-Reykjavik service, which will increase to four flights a week later this month. The outlook for late 2009 and 2010 is positive,” added Thórarinsdóttir.
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