July 6, 2022
NICEAIR Inaugural Flight: A Scenic Icelandic Approach
Airlines Special Flights

NICEAIR Inaugural Flight: A Scenic Icelandic Approach

DALLAS – Perhaps the most scenic approach I’ve experienced, HFM 124 started the descent into Akureyri (AEY) by breaking through a thick layer of clouds and bidding adieu to the blue sky.

NICEAIR’s first aircraft is a 150-seat Airbus A319, which is fully branded inside and out. Due to its size, performance, and range, the A319 is the perfect aircraft for the airline’s operation. It will allow it to operate direct flights from Akureyri to the Canary Islands, something the carrier has already seen from sales is in high demand. 

The location of AEY also has a significant impact on the decision to operate the type. The A319 has the required performance to ensure optimal operational efficiency. Airways got the chance to experience it firsthand.

Copenhagen Airport Inaugural

The Flight

We took off from Copenhagen Airport (CPH) with a shimmy of delay thanks to a little ribbon-cutting ceremony.

CPH Kastrup is the main international airport serving Copenhagen, Denmark, the rest of Zealand, the Øresund Region, and a large part of southern Sweden including Scania. It is the second-largest airport in the Nordic countries.

A quick departure to the southwest and then a set course to AEY. Much of the flight was smooth, with cloud cover below. Akureyri sits up in the northern part of Iceland – a 4-5 hour drive from Reykjavik.

As we got lower and broke through the cloud ceiling, it was bliss. White patches of snow over burnt brown mountains, occasional green streaks, and not forgetting the magnificent fjords this country has to offer were all just too much for the camera to capture.

A final left turn and down we came for a visual approach into AEYs Runway 19 that has its charm of its own. A good spread of food and colorful drinks were offered while boarding. An inaugural goodie bag was handed out too.

Some weeks ago, I spoke with the airline’s CEO, Thorvaldur Ludvik Sigurjonsson.

Back then, the airline was still virtual, but June 2, 2022, made it a reality; today, NICEAIR’s very first flight was a grand success.

Akureyri Airport

The airport is an interesting one that dates back to the 1930s, when a group of seaplanes flew between this fjord town and the capital. At present, it hosts a 2400m long runway, much of which sits over the water.

Some years ago, an ILS was installed to help larger aircraft land in poor weather conditions. Winter here can be quite harsh. Iceland Air (FI) and Norlandair fly regularly scheduled services while Transavia (HV) drops by seasonally.

For Akureyri, NICEAIR is something big. It’s the town’s very own airline that’ll help boost tourism and offer convenient flights to mainland Europe, avoiding the need to drive down to Reykjavik. NICEAIR’s network at the moment includes Copenhagen, London Stansted, and Tenerife.

Here are some shots of the scenic approach into Akureyri with NICEAIR… It was NICE indeed.

EASA commercial pilot | Flight Instructor | Aviation Journalist & writer based in Germany.

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