Airlines and Aviation
Icelandair launches an airplane with a Northern Lights theme, which is deployed on transatlantic routes. Passengers flying between Europe and North America are entitled to free stopovers of up to 7 days.
Icelandair has launched an airliner with a Northern Lights theme. The exterior fuselage is painted like the Aurora Borealis. On board, passengers are treated to a Northern Lights light show with a soundtrack featuring Icelandic music.
Named Hekla Aurora, the plane flew from London Heathrow last night to Reykjavik, Iceland, on the eve of the city's annual Winter Lights Festival.
As the plane approached its destination, passengers could see Hallgrímskirkja Church, which was beautifully lit for the Winter Lights Festival, through the windows.
The plane arrived at Reykjavik's Keflavik International Airport (KEF) to great fanfare. The plane was opened for public viewing for an hour.
"Hekla Aurora provides an authentic Aurora Borealis experience to all those who fly on her," said Birta Líf Kristinsdóttir, a renowned Icelandic meteorologist and former Icelandair pilot, who gave passengers a talk on the Northern Lights.
"The on-board light show provides the perfect beginning to any transatlantic flight by showcasing the natural beauty of Iceland's famous Northern Lights."
Hekka Aurora will be deployed on the airline's transatlantic routes. The air carrier offers travellers stopovers in Iceland of up to 7 nights on all of its transatlantic flights between Europe and North America at no additional airfare.
Keflavik International Airport
Iceland's largest airport and a hub for Icelandair and WOW air, Keflavik International Airport is used exclusively for international flights with the exception of Akureyri, Iceland's second largest city.
The airline flies from its hub at Reykjavik to the following travel destinations in Europe: Amsterdam in the Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Bergen, Norwayt; Billund, Denmark; Birmingham, England; Brussels, Belgium; Copenhagen, Denmark; Frankfurt, Germany; Geneva, Switzerland; Glasgow, Scotland; Gothenburg, Sweden; Hamburg, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Manchester, England; Milan, Italy; Munich, Germany; Oslo, Norway; Paris, France; Stavanger, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; Trondheim, Norway; and Zürich, Switzerland.
The airline flies from its hub at Reykjyavil to the following cities in North America: Anchorage, Alaska; Boston, Massachussetts; Denver, Colorado; Edmonton, Alberta; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota; New York, New York; Orlando, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Seattle/Tacoma, Washington; Toronto, Ontario; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Washington, D.C.
Several European airlines serve the airport, mostly on a seasonal basis. Delta Air Lines is the only North American carrier to serve the airport, operating seasonal service to New York- JFK during the summer.
Domestic flights and flights to Greenland and the Faroe Islands operate out of Reykjavík Airport (RKV). The airport is served by 3 domestic carriers: Air Arctic, Air Iceland, and Eagle Air.
Located in between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, Iceland is sparsely populated, with a population of just 325,000 people, most of whom live along the coast in the country's southwest.
Iceland is often referred to as the Land of Fire and Ice. Not only does it have some of the world's largest glaciers, it also has some of its most active volcanoes. As a result of this geothermal activity, there are numerous hot springs and spas.
Bird-watching, cycling, hiking, horseback riding, ice climbing, and whale watching are popular with adventure travellers - especially during the summer. The country has 3 national parks.
Needless to say, the Northern Lights are Iceland's top winter draw. They are best viewed between September and April.
Despite its chilly sounding name, Iceland has a relatively mild climate because of the North Atlantic Current, which warms things up a bit. Average winter temperatures are, in fact, higher than those of New York City.
In the winter, nights are long - with only a few hours of daylight. But summer days are long, with nearly 24 hours of sunshine.
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