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Icelandair Inaugurates Pittsburgh Service, 16th Destination in North America

The Icelandic flag carrier will operate a Boeing 737 MAX 8 four times a week to connect Pittsburgh and Reykjavik.

An Icelandair 737 MAX (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Icelandair commenced non-stop operations to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Thursday with a seasonal schedule operating until the end of October. The four-times-per-week frequency between Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) and the airline’s Keflavik (KEF) base becomes the carrier’s sixteenth North American destination. This opens up the state’s second-largest city to inbound passengers and outbound customers seeking to visit Iceland or stopover in the country before traveling on to the airline’s European network.

Bogi Nils Bogason, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Icelandair said: “The North American market has been very strong and in recent years, US citizens have been the largest group of tourists visiting Iceland. The Pittsburgh route is off to a good start, with passengers from 25 European destinations booked to Pittsburgh and travelers from Pittsburgh have booked flights to 30 destinations in Europe.”

The flight from PIT to KEF is operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 8 with a scheduled flight time of just under six hours. The early morning arrival allows transit customers to connect to European services in one of the airline’s strategic hub waves. The return flight departs late afternoon arriving in Pittsburgh in the early evening giving those customers on an Icelandic stopover the majority of the day to conclude sightseeing.

Icelandair is undertaking an expanded northern summer schedule and recently added the Faroe Islands to its network. On May 31, the airline will add Halifax, Nova Scotia to the network with a thrice-weekly operation setting the carrier up for a robust period after a strong beginning to the 2024 calendar year. The service will also be operated by a Boeing 737 MAX with a Halifax-bound flight taking just under 5 hours and the return a little over 4 hours.

Earlier this month Icelandair announced that over one million passengers had travelled on the airline in the first four months of 2024. “With more than 300,000 passengers in April, and one million in the first four months of the year, we continue seeing a healthy increase in the total number of passengers,” said Bogason. However, there was a decline in numbers in April of customers  heading to ‘Destination Iceland.’

Bogason stated: “The decline on the to and from markets is mainly attributed to a shift in Easter traffic this year into March. Demand in the via market remained strong and almost half of our passengers were via passengers compared to 40% last year. This displays the flexibility of our route network where we can redirect capacity to the markets with the strongest demand at each time through robust revenue management. I am very happy to see continued strong on-time performance, which is thanks to a strong focus and the outstanding performance of the Icelandair team.”

John Flett

Author

  • John Flett

    John has always had a passion for aviation and through a career with Air New Zealand has gained a strong understanding of aviation operations and the strategic nature of the industry. During his career with the airline, John held multiple leadership roles and was involved in projects such as the introduction of both the 777-200 and -300 type aircraft and the development of the IFE for the 777-300. He was also part of a small team who created and published the internal communications magazines for Air New Zealand’s pilots, cabin crew and ground staff balancing a mix of corporate and social content. John is educated to postgraduate level achieving a masters degree with Distinction in Airline and Airport Management. John has held the positions of course director of an undergraduate commercial pilot training programme at a leading London university. In addition he is contracted as an external instructor for IATA (International Air Transport Association) and has been a member of the Heathrow Community Fund’s ‘Communities for Tomorrow’ panel.

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