Budget airline promotes Icelandic eruption as sight-seeing opportunity

Icelandic budget airline Play is using the country’s latest volcanic eruption as a promotional opportunity to sell flights.

In an email, the airline said incoming flights are about to get a “truly spectacular view”.

“The eruption is very visible in daylight and can be clearly seen on a live stream from the area,” the promotional message said. “Grab a last minute flight to Iceland and see this spectacular natural phenomenon with your own eyes.”

In a separate statement, Play pointed out that Thursday’s eruption was localised in the Reykjanes Peninsula and “is unlikely to pose a direct threat to visitors travelling to Iceland” and confirmed no flight cancellations or delays.

The airline serves Keflavik airport from Stansted and Liverpool together with other points in Europe and North America.

Play noted that this is the sixth eruption in the area in three years – a timeline adjusted in an official statement – and that Iceland “has some of the most advanced volcanic preparedness systems in the world to safeguard the public and is well prepared for every eventuality”.

Rival Icelandair blamed media coverage of seismic activity and volcanic eruption as having a “significant negative impact” on bookings in the final quarter of 2023.

A Play spokesperson said: “Our wonderful country of Iceland sits on top of a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic Ocean and boasts more than 30 active volcanoes which experience an eruption every four to five years on average.

“Iceland is a nation used to living with the extremes of nature and is no stranger to volcanic activity, with six eruptions having taken place on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the last five years there have been no disruptions to flights.

“As we, alongside the Icelandic Meteorological Office, closely monitor the situation, we’re confident our flight schedule will not experience any disruptions.”

The situation is being continuously monitored by the Icelandic Meteorological Office, The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, and a team of scientists from the University of Iceland for any changes, the airline added.

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, 20 minutes from Keflavík airport, will remain closed today after being evacuated and shut on Thursday as a “precautionary measure” due to the latest eruption.  

“We will remain closed through Friday, February 9. Further updates and information will be provided as they become available,” a statement said.

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