Could Icelandair be capitalising on the fortunes of Air Berlin?
I ask, because shortly after Air Berlin’s recent announcement comes news that Icelandair will be starting service between Berlin Tegel and Reykjavik from November 3.
But whereas Air Berlin serves only the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, Icelandair, as a sixth-freedom (transfer) carrier, will be offering connections (at Reykjavik) to no fewer than 18 destinations in North America.
This is important because there are few long-haul direct services from Germany’s capital city. And most of these are operated by Air Berlin to transatlantic destinations.
It means that when Berliners fly long-haul they usually change planes in Germany itself, Europe, the Gulf and so on.
Right now it is still unclear whether the existing Air Berlin transatlantic services will continue to operate later this year.
Initially Icelandair will be operating three flights a week from Berlin Tegel (every Monday, Friday and Sunday). Depending on demand the number of services could be increased next year.
Icelandair operates from 30 destinations in Europe to North America. Its network covers points such as New York, Boston, Washington DC, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Denver, Vancouver, Seattle and Anchorage.
It means Berliners will be able access many more North American points via Reykjavik than they could with Air Berlin direct.
- Icelandair has just announced services to Cleveland Ohio, its 19th North American destination. There will be four flights a week linking its Reykjavik hub (with connections from many parts of Europe) to Cleveland starting May 2018.