How Atlantsflug shrugs off tourism decrease with rotary-wing

Icelandic airline, which offers sightseeing flights on the south-east of Iceland, has extended its service with its first helicopter. Atlantsflug’s CEO Jón Grétar Sigurðsson said, obtaining a helicopter was a long-time goal. Flugblogger asked him, how the rotary-wing will change Atlantsflug’s operations.

The picturesque destinations on the south-east of Iceland, including the Skaftafell National Park and surrounding highlands, are now available on a helicopter. Atlantsflug has announced the beginning of their first helicopter tours program in this part of Iceland. As it was stated in their press release, the helicopter operations supplement the company‘s acclaimed fixed wing sightseeing flights it has operated from Skaftafell and Bakki Airport for years.

Atlantsflug's Cessna 207A (reg. TF-MEJ) // Source: Atlantsflug's Facebook page
Atlantsflug’s Cessna 207A (reg. TF-MAJ) // Source: Atlantsflug’s Facebook page

Atlantsflug is sightseeing tours airline, which has opened its own Tour Center terminal at Skaftafell aerodrome (ICAO code BISL) in November 2018. The airport is situated in south-east Iceland, approximately 240 km from Reykjavik. According to Icelandic aviation register, three planes registered for Atlantsflug: five-seater Cessna 207A (reg. TF-MAJ), seven-seater Piper PA-31 Navajo (reg. TF-JSG) and nine-seater Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain (reg. TF-VEV).

The new helicopter is Aerospatiale AS350BA with tail registration D-HHKT (previous registrations N3600G, C-GRGJ). Atlantsflug’s CEO Jón Grétar Sigurðsson told Flugblogger, that they have leased the helicopter, which is operated by KMN Koopman Helicopter AOC.

Aerospatiale AS350BA (reg. D-HHKT) leased by Atlantsflug in Skaftafell // Source: Atlantsflug
Aerospatiale AS350BA (reg. D-HHKT) leased by Atlantsflug in Skaftafell // Source: Atlantsflug

“This is our first step in adding this service to our existing fixed-wing operation. Our plan is to have helicopters more involved and therefore take over some of our fixed wind flights as well. We will start with one helicopter and then additional helicopters will be available as the need arise”, said Jón Grétar Sigurðsson.

He had added, there were no helicopters in Atlantsflug fleet before, but his company has been involved with helicopter maintenance for years as well as assisting with set up of helicopter operations. “We know helicopter operations quite well”, Sigurðsson concluded.

Aerospatiale AS350BA (reg. D-HHKT) leased by Atlantsflug in Skaftafell // Source: Atlantsflug
Aerospatiale AS350BA (reg. D-HHKT) leased by Atlantsflug in Skaftafell // Source: Atlantsflug

The helicopter will be stationed at Skaftafell Terminal – Tour Center, which provides a service area and meeting point for local tour operators. Tröll Expeditions recently joined Skaftafell Terminal as a first official partner, and discussions with further potential partners are underway. “Getting a helicopter to Skaftafell is a long-time goal which has now been achieved. The first step was building our new facility which is now up and running. This is a great and exciting next step for us, and I encourage operators that are interested in taking part in our journey ahead to get in touch,” said Jón Grétar Sigurðsson.

Therefore, helicopter tours offer on Icelandic market was extended more. Previously Circle Air has started its helicopters operations in Akureyri and offers tour from Reykjavik since 1 of June. In the capital, they are competing with Reykjavik helicopters, Helo, Volcano and Norðurflug.

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