Airlines Eye Direct Flights Between China and Iceland

Keflavík airport

Chinese airlines, such as Juneyao and Air China, are exploring direct flights between China and Iceland. He Rulong, the Chinese ambassador to Iceland, revealed this at a press conference at the Chinese embassy today, VB.is reports.

Shanghai or Beijing to Keflavík

Last week, the ambassador discussed potential flight routes with Isavia, the national airport and air navigation service provider of Iceland. He told reporters that Isavia wants to strengthen its cooperation with Chinese airlines and that direct flights could begin within a few years. He hopes to see them up and running even sooner, as a large portion of tourists in Iceland visit from China.

“The discussions have been ongoing this year and I know they’re looking at options with a few different airlines,” the ambassador said. “The flights could be between Keflavík and either Shanghai or Beijing.”

Plans halted by pandemic

Direct flights had been in discussion shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began and the airline Juneyao was already planning flights from Shanghai to Keflavík with a layover in Helsinki, Finland. Two flights per week were being scheduled, but the pandemic disrupted these plans.

“Many are now asking when this could happen,” the ambassador said. “Some say in five years, others in three. My answer would be that we should be even more optimistic and work hard to make this happen sooner rather than later.”

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Five Icelanders Compete in 2022 Winter Olympics

Hólmfríður Dóra Friðgeirsdóttir and Erla Ásgeirsdóttir Beijing 2022

The Beijing Winter Olympics begin today, and five Icelanders are among the competitors. They are Hólmfríður Dóra Friðgeirsdóttir, Isak Stianson Pedersen, Kristrún Guðnadóttir, Snorri Einarsson, and Sturla Snær Snorrason. Two will be competing in their first Olympic games.

Hólmfríður is competing in women’s Alpine skiing, in the slalom, giant slalom, and Super-G events. Kristrún will compete in cross-country skiing, in the women’s sprint freestyle event. Snorri will compete in the 15km cross-country skiing event, Men’s 15km+15km Skiathlon, the 50km mass start freestyle event, and the Men’s Team Sprint Classic event. Isak will compete in the cross-country sprint and the Team Sprint Classic events.

Sturla Snær, Snorri, and Isak all competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Holmfríður and Kristrún will be competing in the Olympics for the first time. Kristrún and Sturla Snær will be Iceland’s flagbearers at the opening ceremony today.