Icelandair Announces New Service to Cleveland from Keflavik

An Icelandair 757 takes to the skies from YYZ in August, 2015. Photo: Mark Thomas – OPShots.net Contributor//

ICELANDAIR – Reykjavík, Iceland, August 22, 2017 – Icelandair is pleased to announce their newest North American gateway: Cleveland, Ohio. Non-stop service to Keflavik, Iceland will launch on Tuesday May 16, 2018 with four flights a week. In addition, connections to more than 25 destinations in Europe will be available through the airlines hub in Iceland. Icelandair’s service will offer a refreshing alternative for those traveling to Iceland and beyond from the Midwest with more legroom, faster travel times and gate-to-gate Wi-Fi.

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, in the heart of the Midwest, Cleveland will be Icelandair’s 19th gateway in North-America. With a population of 2.2 million inhabitants, the city has a vast industrial history and is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sports enthusiasts will also recognize Cleveland’s basketball team, the Cavaliers, led by one of the brightest stars of the NBA, LeBron James.

“Cleveland is the perfect destination for our route network. We are happy to be the first carrier to provide service to Europe in 8 years. This addition also strengthens our route network and bridges Europe and Cleveland together by providing direct service to Iceland in addition to quick and convenient connections to 30 destinations in Europe,” says Icelandair CEO Birkir Holm Gudnason.

TF-FIO soaks up the summer sun at YYZ, while awaiting passengers. Photo: Cole Goldberg – OPShots.net//

This service should be welcomed by many as it is CLE’s first trans-Atlantic flight since 2009, when United Airlines canceled their nonstop flight to London Heathrow Airport.

The Plain Dealer writes that since the cancellation of the CLE-LHR route, “Airport officials, in partnership with the business community, have worked to reinstate airline service to Cleveland – both to Europe as well as domestic destinations cut when United eliminated its hub at Hopkins in 2014.” Despite their efforts however, they have been unable to provide the financial incentives necessary, losing service to Pittsburgh International Airport, which recently announced flights to Iceland on low-cost carrier, WOW Air, and flights to Frankfurt, Germany on leisure airline, Condor Airlines. Delta Air Lines has offered service to Paris from Pittsburgh for nine years.

“Hekla Aurora,” Icelandair’s Special Northern Lights livery on short final for Runway 05 at YYZ. Photo: Mark Thomas – OPShots.net Contributor//

This new route has received much praise, including from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who called the announcement “a clear indication of the growing interest in our city as an international business and tourist destination.”

Director of Port Control and Robert Kennedy added: “Icelandair brings great service and a global reach which is a big win for the corporate community in Cleveland looking to do business in Europe and beyond. We’re pleased they see the potential of the Cleveland market and put transatlantic service back in Northeast Ohio.”

Travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt called Icelandair’s announcement “a vote of confidence for Cleveland and the airport,” and Joe Roman, president of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, however, believes the business community will support a new path to Europe: a six-hour flight to Iceland, followed by a short, three-hour flight to London, Paris or elsewhere. He said, “I think people will see Reykjavik as a tremendous destination in itself, but also a great connection to Europe.” It’s a new option. I think it will be very well received.”

While it is believed that the CLE-KEF flight targets leisure travelers who may continue on to other European destinations, it is also believed that the success of this flight will determine if other airlines will follow, as this announcement will validate CLE as a long-haul gateway.


An Icelandair Cargo sits on the ramp for the evening at MEM. Photo: wrench4fred – OPShots.net Contributor//

Icelandair offers service to and from Iceland through Icelandair’s hub at Keflavik International Airport serving 19 destinations in North America and more than 25 destinations in Scandinavia, the U.K., and Continental Europe, totaling 43 destinations. The airline operates a fleet of 32 aircraft, consisting of 28 Boeing 757s and 4 Boeing 767s. In 2016, the airline served 3.7 million passengers, up nearly 20 percent over 2015. It offers an Icelandic Stopover, allowing passengers to spend up to seven nights in Iceland, before continuing to Europe, at no additional airfare cost. Icelandair Cargo exists as a sister airline to Icelandair offering freight services from Keflavik to New York,East Midlands in the UK and Liège in Belgium on two Boeing 757-200 converted freighters.

via – Icelandair Connects Cleveland to Europe and Icelandair will start flying from Cleveland Hopkins to Reykjavik in May

About the author

Cole Goldberg

Welcome to OPShots.net! Enjoy the photos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>