Icelandair to stop Belfast to Reykjavik flights from May
The airline is to start operating a new service from Dublin instead.
Icelandair is suspending its Belfast to Reykjavik flights from May for commercial reasons.
Services began operating three times a week last summer from George Best Belfast City airport to the Icelandic capital.
The airline will launch new flights from Dublin next May.
The Belfast route was intended to offer convenient connections to the US and Canada and was hailed as a major boost for Northern Ireland’s global connectivity.
A statement from Icelandair said: “Icelandair regrets to announce that the airline’s direct flight service to Reykjavik from Belfast will be suspended from 15 May 2018 due to commercial reasons.”
The flights were a co-operation between Icelandair and domestic carrier Air Iceland Connect and operated by a 72-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft.
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused with these changes. Icelandair
The final services between Belfast and Reykjavik will be on May 15.
The statement added: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused with these changes.
“Icelandair continues to operate frequent services to London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow in the UK, and has a direct scheduled flight to Dublin, Ireland, starting from 8 May 2018 and operating six times a week, year round.
“Customers due to travel after 15 May have the options of travelling to Reykjavik from Dublin, changing the date of travel or receiving a full refund.”
Dublin airport does not charge Air Passenger Duty (APD) and the authorities in the Republic have said passenger numbers from Northern Ireland have soared.
As part of the Democratic Unionists’ £1 billion deal to prop up the Conservative-led Government, the Government agreed to commission a report into the impact of VAT and APD on tourism in Northern Ireland and to recommend how best to build upon the growing success of that sector.
Extra cash could be earmarked to allow Belfast airports to waive the duty on some flights.
Belfast has seen a series of ups and downs in its airline fortunes.
Flybe pulled out of its London Gatwick service in 2014.
United Airlines stopped its New York flights but budget carrier Norwegian Air unveiled low-cost connections to cheaper airfields on the east coast.