First Niceair Jet Arrives in Akureyri

Airplane from Niceair

Niceair’s first passenger aircraft, an Airbus A-319, just landed in Akureyri, North Iceland, in preparation for the airline’s maiden voyage this Thursday, June 2. The aircraft has arrived from Lisbon, Portugal, where it was painted in the new airline’s design.

The airline’s maiden voyage – to Copenhagen – is sold out. CEO of Niceair Þorvaldur Lúðvík Sigurjónsson told Vísir the company’s first scheduled flights have sold better than expected.

To start with, Niceair will offer flights between Akureyri, North Iceland, and London, Copenhagen, Manchester, and Tenerife. It will be the only airline offering international flights from North Iceland and for the time being, will operate a single aircraft. The company’s goal is to secure scheduled flights year-round to foreign destinations from Akureyri Airport. Regular international flights would both improve the quality of life for residents in the area and improve the access of foreign tourists to North Iceland.

Readers can view the aircraft’s journey at this link.

Prejudice Just Below the Surface in Iceland, Says Prime Minister

Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir is putting together a task force that will propose ways to tackle hate speech in Icelandic society, RÚV reports. Katrín stated she was appalled by recent reports of bullying faced by LGBT+ youth in the country. The Prime Minister says that while Icelandic legislation concerning equality has advanced in recent years, societal views can take time to catch up.

A group of LGBT+ youth in the Reykjavík capital area has reported facing harassment on a daily basis, in part due to the influence of TikTok trends that popularise barking at queer people. The persecution has led many of the teens to avoid leaving the house, while their parents fear the effects the harassment might have on their children. One of the group’s friends, who also faced such harassment, committed suicide last year.

Asked whether she was surprised that such prejudice against queer youth was coming from other young people, Katrín responded: “I think it just shows us that prejudice is just below the surface, that’s just how it is.”

Read More: Calls on Icelandic Authorities to Tackle Hate Speech

The Prime Minister’s Office oversees equality affairs, such as legislation on equal status and equal rights regardless of gender and sexual orientation. The task force Katrín is putting together will include representatives from the labour market, justice system, schools, and interest groups, in order to tackle hate speech in all areas of society.

Katrín says that while legislation such as the Gender Autonomy Act passed in 2019, has helped improve the status of LGBT+ people in Iceland, more needs to be done. “That’s one of the projects of this group on hate speech. It’s not just to look at the legislation but how we can uproot this uncivilised behaviour.”