Icelandair Plan to Operate Direct Flights from St. Petersburg to Reykjavik

Icelandair Plan to Operate Direct Flights from St. Petersburg to Reykjavik

13.07.2006, 17:48
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Icelandair Plan to Operate Direct Flights from St. Petersburg to Reykjavik
[IMG=20426-6167]Icelandair intends to launch test direct flights from St. Petersburg to Reykjavik in September 2006. If four flights by Boeing – 757 meet the expectations, the Airline does not exclude the possibility of launching a flight program to the destination on a regular basis for the next summer season, said Vitaly Yakushkov, Sales Manager of Icelandair, to a BANKO correspondent. Travel market experts that specialize in the Icelandic market are optimistic towards the initiative, pointing out possible cost reduce for tours to Iceland. Thus, Anton Borschev, the Head of The Iceland Tourism Center in Moscow, forecasted: ‘a flight will be cheaper by around 200 Euro (current price is about 800 Euro), a standard tour (7 nights, 1,500 – 1, 700 Euro) – for around 20%’. ‘Price for group tours might reduce because of possibility of a direct flight. That will stimulate tourist flow to the country. At the moment high cost of tours is the main preventing factor for Russian people’, said Marina Safonova, Director of Luxury Adventures, Russia and Baltic countries. The interest in Iceland is increasing gradually. Last year the demand for the destination grew by 12 %, according to the Iceland Tourism Center in Moscow, and by 50%, according to Luxury Adventures statistics. Meanwhile, experts emphasize that Iceland, being exotic and expensive, is an attractive destination for individual tourists from Russia. They doubt it will soon become a mass-market destination. Marina Safonova, commented: ‘but for individual tourists who mainly arrive from Moscow a direct flight from St. Petersburg is inconvenient’. Furthermore, Vitaly Yakushkov explained the reasons for a flight launch from St. Petersburg: ‘one of the reasons is that the company is interested not only in tourist flow to Iceland, but in stimulating incoming touristm to Russia. St. Petersburg is well-known in Iceland as a tourist destination and is in higher demand than Moscow’.
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