Photo Essay: Behind the Scenes at Icelandair’s Global Transit Hub at Keflavik

By Jonathan Spira on 9 September 2015
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Hunched over massive computer screens in Icelandair’s operations unit, controllers prepare for the second wave of arrivals and departures, all to take place in a two-hour period.

Meanwhile, in the airline’s huge (but never big enough) flight kitchen, the carrots are just about chopped as the airline prepares meals and snacks for thousands of departing passengers.

Keflavik International Airport, located 31 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Reykjavík, the nation’s capital, is the ninth busiest airport in the Nordic region and its passenger volume has grown rapidly, with a 16% increase from 2012 to 2013 and a 20.5% increase from 2013 to 2014.

Despite the country’s small population (it’s about 300,000), the airport offers scheduled flights to and from 12 cities in the United States including Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, and Seattle, four in Canada, and 31 cities in Europe.

The airport’s popularity in part may be attributed to the unique stopover offering from Icelandair, which allows passengers to visit the country en route to or from Europe for anywhere from one to five days at no additional charge beyond an ordinary ticket.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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