Yesterday Icelandair announced new service between Cleveland and Reykjavik, Iceland four times weekly starting in May. Of course many people use Iceland as a connecting point to elsewhere in Europe, and Icelandair often has good fares. Plus the hop across the pond to Iceland is fairly short, get out and stretch your legs.
Cleveland No Longer Needs United for Transatlantic
Icelandair is going to add plenty more dots to its map since it expects to take delivery of 16 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft capable of flying transatlantic from much of the Eastern portion of the U.S. to Iceland.
So far we’ve mostly seen discount airlines flying Boeing 787s across the Pond. That plane was made for ‘long thin’ routes, connecting medium-sized cities non-stop. No one was going to try Austin – London until the 787 made it economical, and it proved the route.
Wow Air, Copyright: zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo
The 737 MAX allows Norwegian to create a focus city at Newburgh-Stewart outside New York with several transatlantic destinations.
For Wow Air Airbus’ long range narrowbodies are a key tool as well. They’ve just announced 4 dots to their own route map with Airbus A321 aircraft.
- Detroit – Reykjavik, Iceland effective April 26
- Cleveland – Reykjavik, Iceland effective May 4
- Cincinnati – Reykjavik, Iceland effective May 10
- St. Louis – Reykjavik, Iceland effective May 17
Everyone except Buffalo gets a transatlantic flight. Cleveland will have more than one airline flying to Iceland with onward connections.
The ability to fly long distances with smaller, more fuel efficient aircraft means more cities on the US East Coast with transatlantic flights. These ultra low cost airlines are driving down fares to Europe, and allowing connecting options. Meanwhile the ability to fly with smaller planes means more point-to-point flying as well bypassing hubs.
Is it any wonder that planes like the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 are having such difficulty?