Icelandair adds Boeing 737 MAX flights to Detroit

Icelandair showed the next destination in the US: Detroit. This comes after the carrier opened Keflavik-Raleigh Durham in May this yearand this means that as of November 24, the Icelandic carrier plans to serve 15 airports in USA and Canada next summer. Detroit is a good example of another 737 MAX opportunity.

What is happening?

Icelandair will depart from Keflavik to Detroit on May 18. Summer-seasonal the route, 2,792 miles (4,494 km) apart, will last until October 30. It will be served 4 times a week on a 160-seat 737 MAX 8. The airline’s smallest jet, it has 16 Saga Business Class seats and 144 Economy Class seats.


It is planned as follows, always local. Please note that when writing the time of arrival at Keflavik not yet known, so I guessed.

  • Keflavik to Detroit: FI873, 17:00-18:25 (6 hours 25 minutes of blocking)
  • Detroit – Keflavik: FI872, 20:00-06:30+1 (5 hours 30 minutes)

Image: GCMap.

What about the local market?

This is evidenced by the booking data Detroit– Keflavik had around 19,000 round trip passengers in 2019, largely driven by the defunct WOW Air non-stop flights (see below). Before WOW Air in 2017, there weren’t even 4,000 in the point-to-point market.

Icelandair is certainly hoping to drive demand for non-stop services and will hopefully have strong promotions. But it will primarily be aimed at those who travel more widely Europe in the peak travel season, with a schedule fully prepared for it.

Read more: Airline Startup of the Week: Belfast Transatlantic Hopeful Fly Atlantic

Icelandair 737 MAX 8

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WOW Air operated the route from April 2018 to March 2019 using an A321. This was during the heyday of Keflavik-US flights, with 24 US airports connected non-stop everything airlines in 2018/2019.

According to the US Department of Transportation, WOW Air carried 50,152 passengers to/from Detroit. With 69,520 seats for sale, it achieved an average seat load factor of 72%. It’s clearly low in itself, despite being new, and perhaps despite the very attractive (starting) rates. However, all peak summer months had 76-87% SLF and presumably the best prices.

Icelandair will become the third airline between Europe and Detroit next summer. It will join Lufthansa, which will operate 1 daily flight from Frankfurt with an A340-300, and Air France 1 daily from Paris CDG with a 787-9. Icelandair will be the second non-SkyTeam airline that apparently dominates Detroit so much.

Since 2005, Detroit has also been home to British Airways (until March 2008), KLM (until March 2009), Virgin Atlantic (until March 2017) and, as previously mentioned, WOW Air (March 2019).

https://simpleflying.com/icelandair-adds-new-detroit-route/ Icelandair adds Boeing 737 MAX flights to Detroit

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