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Icelandair

Icelandair axes one more US route

The route networks of the two Icelandic competitors Icelandair and WOW air are narrowing down considerably.

Icelandair has closed its route from its Keflavik base to Baltimore/Washington, shortly after it decided to withdraw Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The move adds to the slow-motion bursting of the bubble of Icelandic air travel growth, at least in terms of the earlier massive upgrading of transatlantic routes between Iceland and North America.

The intense competition between Icelandair and WOW air only meant that both airlines eventually ended up in financial difficulties.

While WOW air is relying on the US capital fund Indigo Partners to come to its rescue and has slashed its route network to the US, Icelandair is in the process of selling aircraft and negotiating new terms with its lenders.

With its main competitor weakened, Icelandair is in a position to reassess its own routes and recently opted not to continue flying to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Now the end has come also for Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, to which Icelandair flew for the last time on January 6. Its planned four weekly flights with a Boeing 737 MAX between May 27 and October 14 have been axed.

Washington DC is currently operated by three airports. While Baltimore-Washington lies about 75 kilometres northeast of the city, Dulles International is around 40 kilometres west of the US capital – which Icelandair also serves.

The third is Ronald Reagan National Airport about 10 kilometres south of the city centre, but this is only used for domestic flights.

What’s left?
With these developments, the relationship in the networks of the two competing carriers has changed considerably.

Icelandair will continue, for now, to fly to 21 destinations in North America, namely Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and Washington-Dulles in the United States as well as Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada.

WOW air’s routes in the region have been shaved down to Baltimore-Washington, Boston, Detroit and Newark in the United States as well as Montreal and Toronto in Canada. So WOW is alone now at Baltimore-Washington and Detroit but still competes with Icelandair on the other routes.

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