Over the past few months, Iceland has become a hotbed for airline expansion. It’s two hometown airlines, WOW Air and Icelandair, have added destinations in the US. This expansion has been fueled by low fuel prices and strong demand for travel across the Atlantic. Historically, Icelandair was the leading airline in Iceland, but WOW Air has played an aggressive game of catch up. Last month, WOW Air added Mid West Destinations, only for Icelandair to add Cleveland to the list as well. Once again, Icelandair is playing catch up to WOW Air, but this time in Dallas. WOW Air announced Dallas flights first, and about four days later, Icelandair followed suit.
What to Expect
The flight to Dallas will fly 4 times a week, while WOW will fly 3 times per week. The airline will fly one of their 757s on this route, which has the airlines Saga Business class, as well as economy. WOW Air will fly an A330 to DFW. The flight will begin on May 30th, 2018. The schedule for the flight is:
FI873 KEF1715 – 2040DFW 75W x246
FI872 DFW1700 – 0600+1KEF 75W x357
Icelandiar is playing a tough game of expansion. As WOW adds destinations, Icelandiar tries to offer just as many connections. The advantage that WOW has had over the past few years is that they operate small narrowbody planes on some of their North America routes. This allowed them to have higher profit margins, than say Icelandair’s 757s. When Icelandair receives their new 737MAXs next year, they will be able to better adjust their schedules to compete with WOW. This will also free up some of their 757s for more routes and frequencies.
Iceland on the Map
These two carriers have put Iceland on the map of the aviation world. With two carriers offering multiple daily flights from the US there, tourism has started to grow very rapidly. One of the aspects that allows Iceland’s tourism to grow is that both of these airlines offer free stopovers in the country. Within Europe, the country obtained much deserved recognition as their soccer (football) team played stelarlly in the EURO Cup in 2016. As the island nation becomes a hub for tourism, business and aviation, we can expect to see WOW and Icelandair to continue expanding.
I am sad to see Icelandair play catch up, instead of having them lead. Icelandair has always intrigued me, as has their home country. They offer very reasonable fares to Europe, and they are a full service carrier. The airline has codeshare agreements with Alaksa Airlines, and I can see them starting a codeshare aprtnership with another US carrier to boost their position. Their business model is very different from that of WOW Air, who is a low cost carrier. I believe these two airlines can coexist, and together make Iceland a hot destination 😉 .
What do you think? Is Icelandair’s flight to Dallas just a reaction to WOW Air, or does the airline have a competitive advantage to launch Dallas flights? Let us know!
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