Icelandair intends to launch new flights to India starting next year. Björgólfur Jóhannsson, CEO of Icelandair Group, the holding company of Icelandair, said earlier this year that the carrier hopes to begin scheduled flights to India in the autumn of 2019.
Björgólfur did not disclose further information regarding routes or dates, but the most likely destinations are thought to be New Delhi and Mumbai. The flight between Keflavík International Airport and New Delhi would take around 10 hours, while the flight to Mumbai is slightly longer. This is around the same time it takes to fly from Keflavík to San Francisco, one of Icelandair’s three new US destinations. Passengers traveling with Icelandair from New Delhi to New York, via Keflavik International Airport, could, therefore, reach their destination in 17 hours, compared with a 15-hour direct flight from Indira Gandhi Airport to JFK or Newark.
Two Icelandic carriers are now fighting to be first to enter the Asia market. Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW Air is also planning to start routes to India and Asia in the first quarter of next year.
At a presentation of Icelandair’s quarterly report last week, the airline revealed other possible Asia routes in an overview of the scope of the company’s three aircraft types: the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the B757-200, and the B767-300ER. Dubai could be an option for the 757, while Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo are potential destinations for the 767.
While both Icelandair and WOW both connect Europe with North America via Iceland, the traffic flow to Asia is expected to be passengers taking the opportunity for a stopover in Iceland on their way to North America.
Featured image by Doug Bull via Flickr