Thirty-one planes are expected to land at Keflavík International Airport today, RÚV reports. With increased strain on airport staff, passengers may have to endure long lines before having their vaccination certificates examined and undergoing testing.
Traffic at an all-time high, since COVID began
Traffic through Keflavík Airport is at an all-time high since the pandemic began. Thirty-one planes expected to land at the airport today.
In an interview with RÚV yesterday, Arngrímur Guðmundsson, Deputy Head of the Airport Division with the Suðurnes District Police, stated that arriving passengers could be in for long lines: “There are 31 flights arriving tomorrow, approximately 4,000 passengers, which is as busy as we’ve been since the pandemic began. Travellers can expect a considerable wait for testing.”
When asked just how long passengers could expect to stand in line, Arngrímur stated that his best estimate would be somewhere around two hours. “We try to inform arriving passengers of the waiting time, as best we can. But you will always have those passengers arriving in the country after a long flight who will be frustrated by having to wait an additional two hours in line. That will happen.”
May stop testing vaccinated travelers
Yesterday, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason expressed doubts over the authorities’ capability of sustaining extensive disease-prevention measures at the border, as the number of travellers is expected to increase this summer and given that such operations require considerable manpower.
The authorities may stop testing among arriving passengers who submit a valid vaccination certificate. As of early June, approximately 80% of the travellers arriving at Iceland’s Keflavík International Airport presented certificates of vaccination against COVID-19 or antibody certificates for the disease. Stopping testing among these two groups would serve to substantially. decrease waiting times.
1,000 new jobs added
As reported by Iceland Review in early June, Icelandair has recently hired 800 employees, mostly crew and flight service staff, to prepare for the summer season. During the time, the airline was currently operating around 50 departures per week and expects to be operating around 100 weekly departures by the end of June.
Icelandic low-cost airline PLAY will launch its first scheduled flight today, June 24, and has already hired employees. PLAY expects staff to number 150 by the end of the summer. Furthermore, Isavia, Iceland’s national airport and air navigation service provider, has added 96 full-time positions since February. Many of the positions are in airport shops or other airport services.