anna.aero attends both launch ceremonies for Icelandair’s new service to Denver
Part 1: Iceland to Denver (Thursday 10 May)
Last week, anna.aero’s Editor Ralph Anker not only attended the celebrations to mark Icelandair’s first non-stop flights between Keflavik Airport (which is the main international airport serving the Icelandic capital Reykjavik) and Denver International Airport in Colorado, but was also on board the inaugural 757-200 flight. As the lucky passengers began to check in for the flight, there was music from the Icelandair stewardess choir who performed several US-themed songs during the build-up to the speeches and ribbon-cutting. Bjorn Oli Hauksson, CEO of airport operator Isavia; Birkir Holm Gudnason, CEO Icelandair; Michael B. Hancock, Mayor of Denver; Luis E. Arreaga, US Ambassador to Iceland; and Kim Day, Manager Denver International Airport, then gave brief speeches to commemorate the event, before the big ribbon-cutting ceremony officially launched the new service.
The route of the seven-and-a-half hour flight took passengers over Greenland, Thunder Bay in Canada and Duluth. On arrival in Denver, the aircraft was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute provided by the airport fire services. A champagne reception was also held at the Icelandair check-in area which was covered by local TV and media.
Part 2: Denver to Iceland (Friday 11 May)
With the aircraft staying overnight in Denver, the inaugural flight between Denver and Keflavik took place the following day, on Friday 11 May. This time, a pre-departure buffet was provided for those attending the launch event as well as all passengers on the inaugural flight. This time, much to anna.aero’s delight, there was also an impressive cake featuring an Icelandair aircraft and the skyline of Denver. Once again, a few brief speeches were made during which Denver’s Mayor Michael B Hancock informed the audience that the new four-times weekly route was worth 28 million dollars to the local economy.
Another ribbon cutting ceremony was performed before the cake was cut for the enjoyment of all attending. anna.aero can reveal that the base of the cake (baked by Frills Cake Shop of Denver) had both a plain cake half and a chocolate cake half. The flight departed on time, in uncharacteristically rainy conditions, with a full load of passengers.