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Malcolm

AirCanada adds Iceland to it's network

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Beautiful place to visit but remember to bring $$$$ as not a cheap vacation (or so I am told).

Air Canada Adds Iceland to Growing International Network for Summer 2017

MONTREAL, Feb. 1, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today it will launch daily summer seasonal service from Canada to Reykjavik, Iceland.  Flights will operate four times and three times weekly from the carrier's Toronto and Montreal hubs respectively, subject to government approvals. Special introductory fares start as low as $698 round trip, all in, and tickets are now available for purchase at aircanada.com and through travel agents.

"Iceland is an emerging and exciting vacation destination growing in popularity with its array of outdoor leisure and cultural adventures, and we're looking forward to flying to the Land of Fire and Ice this summer," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. "As the only Canadian airline and only Star Alliance carrier in North America to fly to Iceland, customers from across Canada and the United States can connect seamlessly and easily to these new non-stop flights from our Toronto and Montreal hubs."

The new non-stop services will be operated by Air Canada Rouge starting in June 2017 with 136-seat A319 aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy classes of service. All flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption, Star Alliance reciprocal benefits and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access at the Toronto and Montreal hubs, priority boarding and other benefits.

 

Flight

From

Time

To

Time

Days of operation

Schedule dates

AC1970

Toronto (YYZ)

9:00 p.m.

Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF)

6:50 a.m.

(+1 day)

Mon, Wed, Thur, Sat

June 21 - Oct 7

AC1971

Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF)

8:30 a.m.

Toronto (YYZ)

10:20 a.m.

Tue, Thur, Fri, Sun

June 22 - Oct 8

AC1972

Montreal (YUL)

9:35 p.m.

Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF)

6:50 a.m.

(+1 day)

Tue, Fri, Sun

June 23 - Oct 8

AC1973

Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF)

8:30 a.m.

Montreal (YUL)

9:45 a.m.

Mon, Wed, Sat

June 24 - Oct 9

 

In 2017, Air Canada continues its global strategic expansion and will launch new international services between Toronto-Mumbai, Toronto-Berlin, Toronto- Reykjavik, Montreal-Shanghai, Montreal-Algiers, Montreal-Marseille, Montreal- Reykjavik, Vancouver-Taipei, Vancouver-Nagoya, Vancouver-Frankfurt, and Vancouver-London Gatwick.

In 2016, the airline started new services between Toronto-Seoul, Toronto-London Gatwick, Toronto-Prague, Toronto-Budapest, Toronto-Warsaw, Toronto-Glasgow, Montreal-Casablanca, Montreal-Lyon, Vancouver-Delhi, Vancouver-Brisbane and Vancouver-Dublin.

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or Just take Westjet to LGW.  They seem to stop there often, maybe they could just drop you off.

I am really sorry but I couldn't resist this one:cool:

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9 hours ago, boestar said:

or Just take Westjet to LGW.  They seem to stop there often, maybe they could just drop you off.

I am really sorry but I couldn't resist this one:cool:

Don't forget Greenland!

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Ooooh, burn..let's play nice.

 

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1 hour ago, blues deville said:

I'm sure Iceland Air is thrilled with this news. They did have reasonable airfares with flights to KEF and continuing into Europe. 

I spent some time talking with an Icelandair crew recently and I don't think they would be worried in the least.  Their Iceland stopover scheme is a stroke of genius that allows a huge number of trans-Atlantic passengers to be carried which would not otherwise consider Icelandair.  That, along with the facts that their fleet is all paid for, the company is debt-free and the entire country's tourism industry considers Icelandair to be basically an essential service means that any other airline's service will be insignificant.

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Why then does AC feels the need to compete on this seasonal route. Is there a market for Canadians who have run out of adventure destinations?

Edited by blues deville

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An USA today article also talks about folks from the US using AirCanada to Iceland.

Air Canada's route map now includes Iceland

TODAY IN THE SKY

Ben Mutzabaugh , USA TODAYPublished 9:42 a.m. ET Feb. 2, 2017 | Updated 5 hours ago

 

Air Canada will add Iceland to its route map this summer with seasonal service from its hubs in Toronto and Montreal.

Air Canada Rouge, the company’s leisure unit, will fly the routes on 136-seat A319 narrow-body jets. The planes include 12 premium-economy style “Premium Rouge” seats.

Flights from Toronto to Iceland's main international airport near the capital of Reykjavik begin June 21. Air Canada Route will fly from Toronto four times a week through Oct. 8. Montreal flights begin June 22 with a thrice-weekly schedule running through Oct. 9.

"As the only Canadian airline and only Star Alliance carrier in North America to fly to Iceland, customers from across Canada and the United States can connect seamlessly and easily to these new non-stop flights from our Toronto and Montreal hubs,” Air Canada president Benjamin Smith says in a statement.

Air Canada adds 3 U.S. cities in five-route expansion

 

Air Canada adds four cities, 12 routes in major U.S. expansiong

The Iceland services furthers an aggressive international expansion by Air Canada during the past two years. Since 2016, Air Canada has added numerous new routes to the United States and to overseas destinations that include Algiers, Algeria; Berlin; Prague; Mumbai; Brisbane, Australia; and Marseille, France, among others.

For Iceland, Air Canada’s new services comes about a year after Icelandic budget carrier WOW launched service to Canada. WOW, which has drawn headlines by selling one-way flights to Europe for as little as $69, flies from Reykjavik to both Toronto and Montreal.

WOW, along with Norwegian Air, are part of a new breed of European “ultra low-cost carriers” attempting to disrupt the travel market on flights across the Atlantic. Their business models center on advertising incredibly low base fares, but charging extra for nearly everything else – including carry-on bags and advance seat assignments.

WOW and Norwegian been expanding rapidly in recent years, adding numerous routes between the United States and Europe.

WOW Air offers $99 fares to Europe; What's the catch?

While Air Canada made no reference to WOW in revealing its Iceland schedule, it would not be the first time that an established full service airline responded to such competition with new routes.

British Airways announced last fall that it would add non-stop service to London from Oakland and Fort Lauderdale. But BA said it would serve those markets not from its primary hub at London Heathrow but rather from its base at London’s Gatwick Airport, where flight schedules are tilted more toward leisure destinations.

The routes also allowed British Airways to match Norwegian’s own recently launched routes from those cities to Gatwick, which has grown to become one of Norwegian’s busiest European hubs.

“They’ve clearly been able to demonstrate that there is a market there," Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways parent group, said to Today in the Sky about Norwegian in November. "We’re responding competitively."

TWITTERYou can follow Today in the Sky editor Ben Mutzabaugh at twitter.com/TodayInTheSky

 

 

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1 hour ago, blues deville said:

Why then does AC feels the need to compete on this seasonal route. Is there a market for Canadians who have run out of adventure destinations?

I don't know.  Maybe they feel there's enough traffic to fill one flight a day or maybe they feel they can create new traffic.  I went to Iceland for a week vacation last year and really enjoyed it so I'm happy that AC will add the route and I can go back on a pass instead of dealing with ZED fares (even though Icelandair treated us very well).

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2 hours ago, blues deville said:

Why then does AC feels the need to compete on this seasonal route. Is there a market for Canadians who have run out of adventure destinations?

Uh, profit? Simple. Heck I'd go there, I think it will be very successful on novelty factor alone. Can't wait to see it.

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Now here is an offer from Icelandair that others will find hard to beat or indeed match.

BUDDY MARVELLOUS

Hook up with a local buddy to explore Iceland in perfect airline offer

Icelandair don't charge extra for stopovers of up to 7 days in Iceland proving that it's all about the journey and not the destination

BY DAVID BYRNE
19th February 2017, 1:54 pm

I’VE got to admit, I love a cheeky little stopover.

I mean, what’s not to enjoy? Ever since my teenage backpacking days, I’ve always grabbed the chance to visit two (and sometimes three or even four!) destinations while I’m on my way to somewhere else.

Icelandair don’t charge any extra for a stopover of up to seven days in Iceland
4
Icelandair don’t charge any extra for a stopover of up to seven days in Iceland

And even better than a stopover, is a stopover with a buddy.

Let me explain . . . Icelandair don’t charge any extra for a stopover of up to seven days in Iceland, stopping there for more than 24 hours means that you pay around £50 less in airport taxes and they offer to set you up with a free local “stopover buddy” guide.

Once I’d booked my Icelandair flights and stopover dates, arranging my Icelandic stopover buddy was easy.

I filled out a simple form on the airline’s website and then they matched up my interests with the most suitable of their stopover buddies.4

David’s stopover buddy Brigette proved to have the best recommendations up her sleeve

I ended up being matched with Brigette — a lovely Icelandair air hostess based in Reykjavik who also used to be a drummer in the cool local all-female band Bellatrix!

I’d been to Iceland once before and ticked off a lot of the more obvious things to do such as the famous Blue Lagoon and the picturesque tour around the Golden Circle.

This time around I wanted to get more of a local’s perspective and so Brigette really came in to her own.

She recommended a visit to the well-named Gamla Laugin, or Secret Lagoon, a spa in Flúðir which was well worth the hour’s ride from Reykjavik.

The Secret Lagoon a spa in Flúðir is well worth an hour’s ride from Reykjavik
Alamy
4
The Secret Lagoon a spa in Flúðir is well worth an hour’s ride from Reykjavik

Instead of being surrounded by crowds of tourists, my Icelandic pals and I almost had a private lagoon to ourselves — and for less than half the price you’d pay at the Blue Lagoon!

Nearby was another of Brigette’s top local tips — a massive greenhouse full of tomatoes at Friðheimar.

How strange, you’d be forgiven for thinking, but Brigette recommended it because of the great locally owned restaurant situated inside the greenhouse that makes all the food out of the tomatoes they grow.

Turns out Iceland grows all its own delicious tomatoes. Who knew?

 

One thing I did know, however, was how famous Icelandic music has become worldwide.

I was lucky that my trip coincided with the fantastic Icelandic Airwaves music festival, featuring some of the best local and international names in music.

Icelandair, who were sponsoring the music festival, came up trumps again.

Everyone who was on a stopover with the airline received a text inviting them to a secret gig that evening in the tiny Fríkirkjan church.

Icelandair pulled the hat out of the bag with a secret Of Monsters and Men gig
Getty Images - WireImage
Icelandair pulled the hat out of the bag with a secret Of Monsters and Men gig

The band turned out to be the world famous Of Monsters And Men, and along with only 200 other people we were treated to nearly an hour of great music — for free!

I met up with my newest buddy Brigette on the last morning of my stopover.

She picked Kaffihús Vesturbæjar which, she delighted in informing me, is Bjork’s favourite cafe!

Over brunch we chatted about life in Iceland and I learnt more from my buddy in one hour than I could have from reading a dozen travel books.

On my way to the airport, with my belly full of delicious Icelandic waffles, I thought that there’s maybe some truth in that old cliché about travelling — it’s all about the journey not the destination!

GETTING THERE: Icelandair fly from Glasgow and Aberdeen with onward connections to 16 North American gateways.
Long haul passengers can stopover for up to seven days in Iceland en route for no extra cost.
Fares to Halifax from £457pp or New York from £472ppp.
The Celebration Stopover Buddy service uses members of the airline team and through their local insight and brilliant connections, are the ultimate party planner for transatlantic guests to turn a stopover into an incredible celebration.

It is free and each trip last up to 24 hours.
Available until March 31.

See icelandair.co.uk/stopover-buddy/

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Author has a bit of a problem with the English language:)...otherwise, informative.

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18 minutes ago, Kip Powick said:

Author has a bit of a problem with the English language:)...otherwise, informative.

Kip: the author is Scottish so.......  :P

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