Athugið þessi frétt er meira en 8 mánaða gömul.

Play going nicely while Brexit bites Niceair

07.06.2022 - 15:37
Mynd: RÚV / Ágúst Ólafsson
All planned Niceair flights to Akureyri from London and Manchester have been temporarily withdrawn from sale after the brand-new airline was forced to fly passengers home to Iceland with an alternative airline. It was possible to fly passengers to the UK, but not from the country. Described as teething trouble, a permanent solution is being worked on. Meanwhile, Play has seen rapid growth in passenger numbers.

Niceair co-founder and CEO Þorvaldur Lúðvik Sigurjónsson says the unforeseen problem came to light after Niceair’s maiden flight to London on Friday. The flight out went as scheduled, but the Niceair plane returned to Iceland empty, while booked passengers were sent on alternative services to Keflavík. The hiccup is being blamed on Brexit-related complications and is being worked on with both British and Icelandic authorities.

Niceair representatives met their booked passengers at Keflavík and transported them to Akureyri. Þorvaldur Lúðvik says the passengers were understanding and grateful for the food, drink, and onward transport to North Iceland.

While he remains confident a solution will be found soon, Þorvaldur Lúðvik admits he still has not received a clear picture of what the problem precisely is. Special agreement was reached to operate yesterday’s London flight, but the next step remains unclear.

Play doing nicely

Iceland’s other new airline, Play (which also flies to London Stansted), transported 56,601 passengers in May, which was 58 percent more than in April and almost equal to January, February, and March combined. Play filled 70 percent of its available seats in May.

A press release from the airline says that 86.9 percent of its flights last month ran on time, and that passenger load factor (seat utilisation) is strengthening quickly. Play expects continued strong passenger growth, as bookings for the rest of the summer are strong. The rapid improvement in fortunes is not only due to the end of pandemic restrictions, but also very closely linked to the start of Play transatlantic services with stopover in Iceland.

Play started eight new services in May to both Europe and North America. Four more are being added in June. The total number of seats available in April to June will therefore be 167 percent more than in the first three months of the year. Play plans to serve 25 destinations this year, and more next year.

Click to follow RÚV English on Facebook.
Kliknij, żeby śledzić RÚV Polski na Facebooku.