Flying Icelandair home from Reykjavik to Akureyri on a 757 and a Sprint-8 : AirlineReporter

An Icelandair De Havilland Canada DHC-8, higher referred to as a Q400 or Sprint 8, taxies to the ramp in Akureyri, Iceland

Flying domestically in Iceland is like stepping again in time.

Safety? Not essential right here. Simply verify in on your flight on the ticket counter, look ahead to the boarding name, and get on the airplane. No X-ray machines, no physique or iris scans, no checks for bottled liquids, and so on. Simply verify your huge baggage and stroll on board together with your carryons. A really civilized course of in an equally civilized nation.

Passengers disembark from an Icelandair 757 (TF-ISV) on the ramp at Akureyri, Iceland

Our flight was from Reykjavik Metropolis Airport, RKV, which is correct within the heart of the capital metropolis, flying to Akureyri within the north of the nation, 250km (155 statute miles) by air. The a lot bigger worldwide airport is 50km (30 statute miles) to the southeast, in Keflavik. We have been a gaggle of six; 5 of us from numerous media shops, and our very succesful and affected person Icelandair media wrangler.

Icelandair’s home route map is proven through the blue line – Picture: Icelandair

Icelandair has two 76-seat DHC-8-400s and three 37-seat DHC-8-200s in its fleet; they acquired them in March of 2021 when the airline bought Air Iceland Hook up with create an built-in home/worldwide route system.

The ticketing area at Reykjavik airport
The ticketing space at Reykjavik airport

Our Jan. 28 flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri began out uneventfully sufficient. Our group acquired to the terminal about 35 minutes forward of our scheduled departure time, checked in, and waited to board. Boarding was delayed a bit, however we ultimately walked out to the airplane on the ramp and climbed on board.

Seat 1A on an Icelandair Dash-8
Seat 1A on an Icelandair Sprint-8. My large digicam bag wouldn’t match within the overhead and there’s no under-seat storage towards the entrance bulkhead, so I waited for a colleague to board and he kindly stowed it beneath his seat.

Boarding was a breeze. I had seat 1A. The airplane is configured for single-class financial system. Everybody acquired on, the door was closed, we acquired the usual security transient, after which we sat there. Finally the engines began. Quickly after, the pilot made an annoucement that there was an drawback with an engine that upkeep wanted to verify, so the engines have been shut down. So we sat a bit longer and the engines have been restarted. Then promptly shut down. We have been informed the error gentle was nonetheless on, so we have been requested to deplane and return to the terminal.

Inside, we waited, and waited, and waited some extra, as one does in such conditions. Our flight was FI030, initially scheduled to depart at 9:30 am. As we acquired nearer to 11 am, it was annouced {that a} 757 was being introduced in from KEF and our flight can be mixed with the 11:30 am flight on a bigger airplane.

The optimistic flight board at RKV
The optimistic flight board at RKV

Icelanders have a saying: þetta reddast. It roughly interprets into “it would all work out OK.”

In my expertise, many airways would have merely canceled the primary flight and tried to rebook everybody on subsequent scheduled flights. As a substitute, Icelandair pulled collectively a crew and an plane, ferried it to a different airport, and made issues occur.

So, not solely did I get to expertise a 45-minute Icelandic home flight, however I acquired the superior likelihood to fly on a 757 a method, and return on a Sprint-8. þetta reddast, certainly.

Our 757 was TF-ISV, inbuilt 1999, and first delivered to Iberia. It was a standard-issue Icelandair 757, which was pressed into service for a couple of home journeys earlier than resuming worldwide service.

The flight was so transient that we have been solely at cruise altitude for a couple of minutes, and there was no time or want for a cabin service.

Boarding a 757 at RVK
Boarding our 757 at Reykjavik home airport

My reassigned seat was 24D, an aisle towards the again of the airplane. I’d been hoping for a window, however there have been a lot of low clouds so the views would have been fleeting anyway. Plus, we have been really in a position to go to Akureyri, so no complaints from me.

It will be my first time to the northern a part of the nation, so I used to be fairly excited concerning the journey, even when it was to be an abbreviated one.

Our first stop in Akureyri was the Icelandic Aviation Museum - it's not huge but it's packed with history
Our first cease in Akureyri was the Icelandic Aviation Museum – it’s not big but it surely’s full of historical past

We had lower than an hour to see the entire Icelandic Aviation Museum. Whereas not giant, it’s jammed stuffed with cool plane and artifacts – I positively didn’t get to see all the pieces. We have been informed {that a} new exhibit was within the works – an Icelandair 757 fuselage part can be put in inside close to the entry space; seems like I’ll must plan a return go to.

After leaving the museum, Touring Viking excursions pulled collectively a last-minute van tour for for us; we had time for the short drive as much as Goðafoss waterfall. We drove Route 1 through the difficult-to-pronounce, 7.6km lengthy, Vaðlaheiðargöng tunnel.

Goðafoss waterfall on the river Skjalfandafljot near the small town of Fossholl
Goðafoss waterfall on the river Skjalfandafljot close to the small city of Fossholl

After a cold stroll close to the waterfall, it was time for a fast lunch on the present store restaurant close by, then a splash again to Arureyri to catch out flight again to Reykjavik.

Our return flight was certainly on a Sprint-8. We have been on TF-FXA, which was inbuilt 2000 and first delivered to SAS Scandinavian Airways.

The boarding course of at Akureyri was as easy and easy as in Reykjavik; we acquired to the terminal about 40 minutes earlier than boarding time. We sat within the lounge, acquired a espresso on the nice little snack counter and watched an Icelandic Coast Guard helicopter depart on a patrol.

When the boarding name got here, all of us simply lined up, confirmed our tickets, and walked out to the ramp to board the flight. No safety screenings essential.

A wet ramp made for some great photos of our plane
A moist ramp made for some nice photographs of our Sprint-8, TF-FXA, at Akureyri airport

Again house, Alaska Airways has retired the final of its Sprint-8s in favor of Embraer 175s; it was an awesome alternative to have the ability to fly on one in scenic Iceland. The turboprop planes do really feel a bit dated in some regards… particularly relating to cabin storage. However the 2-2 seating structure is nice, the seats themselves are comfy, and the home windows afford nice views; I all the time get pleasure from flying on these plane.

The airplane dealt with the return flight like a champ; it all the time feels stable, even in turbulence, and the Icelandair pilots are nicely used to the nation’s gusty winds and low visibility. The 45-minute return flight was at nightfall, making for some pretty views on the best way again to Reykjavik. I’m already wanting ahead to my subsequent journey.

Disclaimer: Our flights, lodging, and transportation have been paid for by Icelandair and different distributors. Our opinions stay our personal.

EDITOR-AT-LARGE / DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY – SEATTLE, WA Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural, aerial, aviation, and business photographer, a contract photojournalist, and a confirmed AvGeek.

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