TOURISM A new airline is taking flight this summer. In what are hopefully the last weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic, this would count as big news in Iceland. But what makes the announcement even more special is the location from where the new airline will be taking off. The new airline Niceair will operate from Akureyri airport, serving the largest town of Northern Iceland and only a 45 minute drive from Húsavík.
The new airline is the brainchild of entrepreneur and aviator Þorvaldur Lúðvík Sigurjónsson, who has a long career in investment banking, but has in recent years been highly active in tourism and the aviation industry in northern Iceland. Þorvaldur Lúðvík founded Circle Air in 2016, a company that has provided sightseeing and charter flights, also operating from Akureyri. Þorvaldur Lúðvík has also served on the board of directors of the Icelandic Aviation Museum.
The northern regions of Iceland have seen a big rise in numbers of visitors over the decade leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic. But to get to the north, travelers have mostly had to rely on flights to Keflavík International Airport from where there is more than a six hour drive to Húsavík and Lake Mývatn, two of the most popular destinations in the north.
The new airline plans to launch flights in early June this year, and has secured an Airbus A319 with 150 seats, presumably in an all-economy configuration. Ticket sales should begin within the next few weeks.