Icelandair’s domestic services have come in for criticism in recent months, as so many have been delayed or cancelled outright with little notice. Travellers have complained that it has been hard to find information and that there has been little flexibility.
More than nine percent of flights to or from Akureyri have been cancelled so far this year, nearly 12 percent to or from Egilsstaðir, and over 26 percent of flights to or from Ísafjörður. By comparison, around five percent of Akureyri flights were cancelled during the same period in 2019, just over three percent of Egilsstaðir flights, and 15 percent of Ísafjörður flights.
In addition to the cancellation of flights, 410 trips to or from Akureyri have been significantly delayed so far this year, which is equivalent to 27 percent of all flights. More than 22 percent of Egilsstaðir flights were delayed (259 incidents), and also 22 percent to or from Ísafjörður (139 times).
Bad weather the main reason
In a written response, Icelandair told RÚV the main reason for delays was the very frequent bad weather in the early months of this year. There were more factors, though, such as maintenance work at airports, maintenance work on two aeroplanes, the effect of the pandemic, and increased demand for seats. The situation has improved, the airline states, and flights should run more smoothly now.
Poor service, high price
A Facebook page, Dýrt innanlandsflug – þín upplífun (Expensive domestic flights – your experience), has seen particularly lively discussion recently. Unnar Erlingsson, a resident of Egilsstaðir, tells RÚV the worst this is to be unable to trust the transport links. “This is our public transport connection to the nation’s capital and all the services we also participate in building up there. So, these are things that need to be alright, in order to increase the likelihood of stable residency and increase the likelihood of people wanting to live here.”
“I would encourage the government to step in, if private companies like Icelandair, or any others that take this on, if they can’t operate it better than current experience shows, then something more needs to happen,” Unnar adds.