Icelandair today announced that it will fly non-stop between Vancouver and Reykjavik four times per week year-round thanks to "popular demand."
The flights had previously been seasonal May through October, and will restart on May 17 with flights leaving Vancouver on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The flights are so far scheduled to leave Vancouver at 3:35 p.m. and land in Reykjavik at 7 a.m. the next day. The flights then leave Reykjavik at 5:15 p.m. and arrive in Vancouver at 6 p.m. the same day. Those times, however, may change, according to the Vancouver Airport Authority.
Icelandair first launched Vancouver flights in May 2014, on a seasonal basis, with two flights per week, leaving Vancouver on Fridays and Sundays. It made those flights year-round in 2017, and increased the flight frequency to three times per week in 2018. It scuttled the flights in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic halted most air travel, and returned with seasonal service in 2022.
"We're slow on the return from China but we're seeing good robust recovery across markets like Europe, primarily," said Vancouver Airport Authority director of air service development Russell Atkinson. "It's good news for our in-bound tourism."
Icelandair's move toward flying the route non-stop is part of its much larger 2023-2024 winter schedule, as the airline is increasing capacity by between 20 and 25 per cent between North America and more than 30 destinations in Europe, compared to the 2022-2023 winter season, the airline said.
Other cities that had previously seen seasonal Icelandair service, and will now have year-round service include Rome, Barcelona, Raleigh and Baltimore, the airline said.
The airline is also increasing flight frequency to Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Munich, New York and Tenerife.