Bridging two continents with one flight

It is somewhat unusual to have an airport press release about a new flight offering include the phrase “an epic adventure awaits”, but today’s announcement by RDU involved neither a “typical” airline, nor a typical destination.

RDU International announced its newest international flight — and its newest airline:  Icelandair and its new nonstop service from Raleigh-Durham to Reykjavik, beginning this spring.

As I mentioned to Triangle Business Journal senior staff writer Lauren Ohnesorge, it creates a new way to get to mainland Europe from our region, and it does so at a time when the airline industry is still in pandemic recovery mode. While Iceland itself is not a primary business destination, the unique central Atlantic geographic location of Iceland as literally the bridge between two continents will make it a compelling one stop alternative to consider.

Fundamentally it is a “win” for our market, and for North Carolina. Given that Icelandair only serves a very small number of North American destinations – for us to be on that list speaks to their confidence in our market. And of course, it adds to the restoration and expansion of our international destinations, as it will begin service only weeks after American’s scheduled restart of their London service from RDU.

In addition, the carrier’s business model of allowing a no-cost, 1-7 day stopover in Iceland is going to be compelling for some travelers from a tourism standpoint to the island.

While Iceland is not quite the great white whale of international destinations that we have been pursuing, you certainly would be able to do a lot of whale watching and other tourism activities if you visited there directly, or on the way to Europe, via our newest carrier.

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation


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