Iceland’s largest carriers compete for Cleveland passengers bound for Europe

WOW Air and Icelandair will begin direct flights between Keflavík International Airport and Cleveland next month. The flights will be the first trans-Atlantic flights from Cleveland since 2009.

Seljalandsfoss in South-Iceland. Credit: Curren Podlesny / Unsplash

Icelandair and WOW Air, Iceland’s two main airlines, will offer direct flights to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, starting next month. There have not been trans-Atlantic flights from Hopkins Airport since 2009, when United Airlines suspended direct flights between the Cleveland and London Heathrow.

Cleveland will be Icelandair’s 19 US destination. The carrier will offer flights between Hopkins and Keflavík International Airport four times a week. WOW Air will also fly between Cleveland and Keflavík four times a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. This is WOW Air’s 13th US destination. The flights to Keflavík International Airport will not only connect US travellers to Iceland, but also to dozens of exciting destinations on mainland Europe. Likewise, Hopkins Airport provides non-stop connections to 51 cities around the US and Central-America, linking European travellers to destinations such as Cancun in Mexico, New Orleans, Dallas, and Nashville, to name a few.

Cleveland airport officials have been working to secure a nonstop flight to Europe since United Airlines cancelled their London flights in. Todd Payne, chief of air service development for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, told Turisti.is in September that an estimated 108 thousand passengers had travelled from Cleveland to Europe and the Middle-East through other US airports. Pointing out that clearly there was a market for direct trans-Atlantic flights from Hopkins Airport.

Turisti.is conducted a small price comparison on ticket prices on flights between Cleveland and Keflavík on one hand, and between Cleveland and Paris, France, on the other. As the numbers in the tablet below show, WOW Air offers lower fares, but these are stripped of all amenities; Icelandair offers slightly higher prices, but they include non-alcoholic beverages and seat selection. Surprisingly, the cheapest fares with both carriers are in July, during high-season. The Cleveland-Paris flights are roughly 11-hour-long and go through Keflavík Airport. Passengers can therefore opt to do a stop-over in Iceland and, for instance, enjoy a relaxing visit to the Blue Lagoon (note that you have to book your Blue Lagoon visit in advance).

Here you can compare hotel prices in Iceland and here you will find the best price for car rentals.

Should you be travelling to mainland Europe this summer, it could be more economical to fly from Cleveland to Keflavík and from there catch a connecting flight with other carriers, such as Lufthansa, SAS, British Airways or esayJet. Kayak, for example, allows you to search for the cheapest flights between Cleveland and mainland Europe.