Air Iceland Connect’s executives have decided to start scheduled flights to Vestmannaeyjar (ICAO: BIVM) in spring 2021. This was stated at a meeting of the Vestmannaeyjar town council, Morgunblaðið reported. The national Icelandic airport operator Isavia has also decided to withdraw the announced lay off of its employees in Vestmannaeyjar airport and postpone the decision to change staffing on the aerodrome until next spring.
The mayor of Vestmannaeyjar Íris Róbertsdóttir and chairman of the town council Njál Ragnarsson have in recent days been in contact with a representative of Isavia due to the planned dismissal of the company’s employees at Vestmannaeyjar airport, and there has been a good dialogue between the parties.
The mayor has also been in contact with representatives of the airlines over the past month, including Air Iceland Connect about possible scheduled flights to Vestmannaeyjar on market terms. The airline’s management views Vestmannaeyjar “as an exciting addition to their destinations” and has decided to start scheduled flights to the Islands next spring.
“This is a great opportunity to promote Vestmannaeyjar as a destination, both for domestic and foreign tourists. It is also very important for Vestmannaeyjar that scheduled flights start again” says the statement of the town council.
Earlier this year the only airline, who performed scheduled flights there, Flugfélagið Ernir (Icelandic “Eagle Air”) has withdrawn Vestmannaeyjar from its route network. The founder and owner of Eagle Air Hörður Guðmundsson in September explained Flugblogg, it had happened because of the decreasing amount of passengers between Reykjavik and Vestmannaeyjar, also because of competition with subsidised ferry line.
“The main reason is the lack of passengers. We are in unfair competition with the subsided ferry. It costs almost nothing to use this boat, but in the private sector of aviation, we need to charge full fare. When the number of passengers starts to decline, the only way we can do is stop to fly there,” said Hörður Guðmundsson.