Northern Iceland's Newest Airline, Niceair, Will Launch This June

Visiting Iceland's majestic north from other European cities just got easier


Courtesy of Niceair

In a destination already cemented as a major tourism draw, northern Iceland is slowly becoming one of the country's most up-and-coming hotspots. A five-hour drive from Reykjavik, the region is home to picturesque and distinctive attractions such as the majestic Dettifoss waterfall and Iceland's second-largest city, Akureyri. According to the Icelandic Tourism Bureau, a whopping 70 percent of travelers who visit Iceland for a second or third-time head straight to its northern regions.

Now, the secret of the north is out of the bag—and it's about to become easier than ever for Europeans to discover it. Niceair, a new startup airline based in Akureyri, announced it would launch service on June 2 from Akureyri Airport to several European cities, beginning with Spain, Denmark, and the U.K. The specific cities within these countries are yet to be announced.

"[Niceair]'s goal is to secure scheduled flights year-round to foreign destinations from Akureyri Airport," said Niceair Managing Director Þorvaldur Lúðvík Sigurjónsson in a statement. "That will simultaneously improve the quality of life for residents in the area, improve the access of foreign tourists to North Iceland, and last but not least, greatly improve the competitiveness of companies in the area."

Akureyri, Iceland

Federica Gentile / Getty Images

The announcement is a game-changer for tourism to the country's northern region. Most foreign tourists heading to the north of Iceland by air need to first fly into Keflavik International Airport and transfer to Reykjavik Metropolitan Airport, 30 miles away. From there, they can catch a regional flight to Akureyri. The only international flight into Akureyri is a seasonal service from Amsterdam operated by Transavia Airlines.

Niceair, whose name is a wordplay of N(orth) Ice(land) Air, is already backed by several local businesses who each own a minority stake in the company, with expectations that the airline's arrival will massively stimulate business in their region. Ticket sales "are set to begin in the coming weeks," according to a press release from the airline.

Article Sources
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  2. Simple Flying. "Airline Startup of the Week: Iceland's Niceair." February 18, 2022.

  3. AviacionLine. "Niceair, Iceland’s new airline seeking to fly to Spain, Denmark and UK." February 22, 2022.

  4. Iceland Monitor. "Niceair - New Airline, Based in Akureyri." February 17, 2022.