MORRISVILLE, NC (WNCN) – Raleigh and Reykjavík, Iceland, just got a whole lot closer thanks to a new non-stop flight from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Icelandair launched its maiden flight from RDU on Thursday evening with a celebration by officials from the airline and airport.
Icelandair’s presence at the RDU marks a significant milestone in attracting more international flights.
It is RDU’s first non-stop transatlantic flight since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a clear sign that we are now reaching some kind of normalcy,” said Icelandair CEO Bogi Nils Bogason. “It’s just a great feeling.”
Icelandair is just the beginning of many more expansions this year.
The airport plans to resume non-stop flights to Montreal, London and Paris, as well as major US airlines like Frontier and Spirit, which are expanding their networks from Raleigh.
“In 2022, we felt international service would represent significant demand,” said Michael Landguth, CEO of Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “And since some of our other services are kind of missing, it’s an incredible relief for our airport to have something like Icelandair move here and offer this non-stop service.”
RDU also plans to introduce a 13th airline, Avalo Airlines, with non-stop flights to Connecticut this month.
Icelandair has chosen the Triangle as its first new destination in North America since the pandemic began.
Its communications manager, Michael Raucheisen, said he chose the Triangle because of its fast-growing population and access to education and international businesses.
“Demand matches a gateway we’ve been flying from for years, so it’s very promising. We see a very good future here,” said Raucheisen.
The seasonal route includes four weekly flights to Iceland from May to October on a 160-seat Boeing 737MAX 8.
https://www.cbs17.com/news/international-news/raleigh-to-reykjavik-iceland-non-stop-marks-the-start-of-more-international-rdu-flights/ Iceland nonstop marks the start of more international RDU flights