Having flown in from London Heathrow on 19 May 2016 on one of Icelandair’s recently-put-into-service 767-300s, anna.aero’s Chief Analyst Ralph Anker was delighted to see that the airline’s inaugural flight to Montreal, FI805, was on time. Notice how, after 17:15, there are just two flights departing Keflavik/Reykjavik at this time of year, both with easyJet to the UK.
The Icelandair crew of the inaugural flight from Keflavik/Reykjavik to Montreal pose at Gate D21 for a commemorative photo with their special button-hole flowers. Because the aircraft flies straight back without a night-stop, a second crew, who had flown out the day before, would be needed for the inaugural return flight.
“Ok, we’ve both done this before, right? How hard can it be?” Icelandair’s CEO Birkir Hólm Guðnason and Gudmundur Dadi Runarsson, Deputy Terminal Director, Keflavik International Airport prepare for some serious ribbon-cutting. Montreal became Icelandair’s fourth new route in 2016 following Aberdeen, Chicago and Paris Orly, which all launched in March.
As is now tradition the inaugural flight was operated on the “Northern Lights” 757 (registration TF-FIU), named Hekla Aurora.
Icelandair’s CEO Birkir Hólm Guðnason was persuaded to pose for a commemorative photo at the gate with anna.aero’s Chief Analyst, Ralph Anker. This was to be Anker’s first visit to Montreal since he spent six months there in the second half of 1997 working for ICAO in their Forecasting and Economic Planning section.
Where’s the cake?! Pre-boarding food and drink were provided for the 113 passengers on the first flight, but there was no cake. There was also some live music, but the songs played were not specifically Canadian-themed.
You get some pretty spectacular views when flying from Iceland to Canada.
A fire truck! Does it look like they had a quick practice before we arrived?
A cake featuring the three-letter codes of the two airports connected by this new service. The crew and airline CEO get to pose with the cake before being joined by some local VIPs.
Speech! Saying a few words to celebrate the launch of Icelandair’s new service to Montreal were: Christiane Beaulieu, VP Public Affairs, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM); Birkir Hólm Guðnason, CEO, Icelandair; Yves Lalumiere, President, Tourisme Montreal; Jean-Francois Parenteau, Mayor of Verdun and City of Montreal Representative; and Sturla Sigurjonsson, The Ambassador of Iceland in Canada;.
What every airport executive needs after a route launch as a souvenir, a model plane!
Now you see it, now you don’t. Another ribbon is cut by: Nicholas Remillard, Honorary Consul General of Iceland in Montreal; Sturla Sigurjonsson, The Ambassador of Iceland in Canada; Christiane Beaulieu, VP Public Affairs, ADM; Birkir Hólm Guðnason, CEO, Icelandair; Yves Lalumiere, President, Tourisme Montreal; and Jean-Francois Parenteau, Mayor of Verdun and City of Montreal Representative.
Time to cut the cake! Icelandair’s CEO helps cut the cake and then tries a piece.
Who’s this interloper after a piece of cake? Why it’s anna.aero’s very own Chief Analyst Ralph Anker, keen to try the delicious looking chocolate and cream layered cake with blue icing. Mmmm. Delicious…
ADM’s Director, Air Service Development, Luce Bureau, with (most of) the cake that she had commissioned to help celebrate the launch of Icelandair’s new service to Montreal. Apparently the rest of the cake was going to be taken back to the office to be shared with other ADM staff the following day. We believe you Luce… : )