Which airlines fly to Iceland? Where to find cheap flights to Iceland? Are you looking for flights to Reykjavík? Not only Wow Air and Icelandair fly to Iceland, read on to find out all you need to know about cheap flights and travel information relating to Iceland in 2017.

Which airlines fly to Iceland? Where to find cheap flights to Iceland? Are you looking for flights to Reykjavík? Not only Wow Air and Icelandair fly to Iceland, read on to find out all you need to know about cheap flights and travel information relating to Iceland in 2017.

Air travel is a little like the Eurovision Song Contest; some people cherish it as entertainment in its own right, others look to get the ordeal over with as quickly as possible. Thankfully, finding cheap and direct flights to and from Iceland has never been easier, with more airlines offering more routes for more competitive prices.

In 1996, only 200,000 foreign visitors arrived on Iceland’s volcanic shores. Fourteen years later, that number had but doubled to a measly 400,000. And yet it was in that year, 2010, following the violent eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, that the tide of Iceland’s tourism industry changed dramatically.

With European air travel interrupted for seven days, a meteoric rise in outside interest toward Iceland quickly ensued; Where is Iceland? Is Iceland a country? What is it all about? How many volcanoes are there in Iceland? And how does one even pronounce Ey-jaf-jalla-jök-ull? 

Questions such as these have led to Iceland’s modern, tourist-oriented culture, a young and booming business that predicts 2019 will see a staggering 2.5 million new arrivals to the country.

Header Photo: Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit: Simon Law

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Visitor's are flocking en masses to experience Iceland.

This trend was not always expected, however. Still reeling from the consequences of the 2008 financial crash, many Icelanders suspected that the country would go bankrupt. And yet, thanks to the reactionary collaboration between government agencies, public relations groups and the country’s tourism board, Iceland has experienced a substantial rise in visitor numbers every year since 2010. 

Take 2016 as a prize example. 2016 was the year, after all, when more American visitors flew into the country than the entire population of Iceland itself; the country saw a 40% increase in international visitors overall.

2016 was the year when tourism was seen to be worth more than the fishing and aluminium industries combined, two of Iceland’s major profit sources. And, overwhelmingly, 2016 was the year that 92% of all travellers to Iceland came simply for the pleasure and privilege of being here.

If you are looking to explore this mystic, thrilling and breathtakingly unique country, all evidence points that you are in good company. And yet, given Iceland’s central position between North America and mainland Europe, a rapid increase in routes to get here have made the booking process surprisingly complicated. This reality is twofold if one is trying to secure a particularly cut-price deal. 

Flight routes are dramatically increasing as visitor's learn of Iceland's overt beauty.

The idea behind this article is to make the practicalities of the travelling to Iceland as simple as possible, from where to book your flights to how to get back and forth from Keflavik International Airport without hassle. 



How Do You Find Cheap Flights to Iceland?          

To find cheap flights to Iceland, it is always best to first use a flight comparison website, by far the most modern and simplest method for booking. There are multiple flight comparison sites online, and before booking anything, the majority of travellers will first trawl through their options to catch the best deals and prices early. There are over twenty-five airlines flying to Iceland with more airlines and planned routes being added over the upcoming years. 

Iceland always looks beautiful from above!

Out of these flight comparison sites, Skyscanner is, by and large, the most popular worldwide. Skyscanner can be accessed in over 30 different languages and boasts a user base of 60 million people per month, setting in stone its dominance over the flight comparison market.  



Completely free to use, Skyscanner relies on unique technology to connect people directly to the travel industry, sifting through the various deals and powering over 1200 related businesses. The company has been operating since 2003 and now has a staff of 900 people, with offices as far-reaching as Barcelona, Glasgow, Singapore and Miami. As far as travel service sites go, Skyscanner is, truly, a global giant.  

We would also like to recommend our friends at DoHop. DoHop is an authentically Icelandic flight comparison website, founded in Reykjavík, 2004, by Frosti Sigurjónsson. Living in France at the time, Frosti found booking flights to and from Iceland to be notoriously complicated, so set about to create a tool that would forever simplify the process. 

Veiðivötn Lake in the Central Highlands of Iceland.

Unlike Skyscanner, DoHop utilises its own algorithms to find you the best deal; by scouring through every possible airport and available route, the company will collate different flights to ensure the best price. In this sense, DoHop’s advantage does not lie in finding direct flights, but instead on securing the best deal, the perfect choice for young travellers who wish to book and plan their own itineraries. 

Another option entirely is to use the flight comparison site, Fare Compare. Founded in 2004, this travel service provider aims to instil an air of confidence in its users when they purchase their flights, ensuring the customer always leaves satisfied. One particularly useful aspect of this site is the detailed and relevant information pages provided on each prospective destination.

Another alternative is the site, Kiwi.com, a flight comparison site whose dazzling and interactive flight map makes analysing different flights options as simple as taking a walk in the park! Despite being named after New Zealand's winged mascot, Kiwi.com is, in fact, a Czech travel operator, originally opening for business in 2011 as Skypicker.com. Today it is one of the top 5 sellers of airline tickets in Europe. 

Where Do You Fly Into Iceland?            

An exterior shot of Keflavik International Airport. Credit: Jeff Hitchcock 

Iceland’s major international airport is Keflavik International Airport (KEF), located in the municipality Sandgerði, roughly forty minutes drive outside of Reykjavík.

Despite a number of other airports sometimes hosting international flights—such as in the summer of 2016 when flights connected directly from London to Egilsstaðir in east Iceland—it is at Keflavík where the vast majority of travellers will pass through.

Keflavík Airport was originally opened in 1943, having been constructed by the US Military during the Second World War. Back then, the airstrip was known as Meeks Field, in remembrance of George Meeks, a young US airman who died there. After the war, the airport was returned to Icelandic control and renamed Keflavík, after the nearby town.

As soon as 1951, however, the Americans returned to the base as part of the US-Icelandic Defense Agreement. Whilst one side of the argument felt this presence was a necessary deterrent to the Soviet Union, many Icelanders were terribly unhappy to have their country sold in the name of a potentially atomic conflict. This dispute would rage on for the decades to come, eventually concluding with the airport's reinstatement as a non-military airstrip.

Navigating the airport today is simple, given the fact, there is only one terminal, Flugstöð Leifs Eiríkssonar, named after Leif Erickson, the first European to visit North America. It is somewhat ironic that it is Leif's namesake that now plays host to the growing stream of overseas visitors we see every year. 

As for utilities and services, the airport boasts all to be expected from a modern terminal;  there are phone charging stations, food and refreshments, free unlimited WiFi in the airport waiting area, as well as showers, family rooms and restrooms dispersed throughout.

An aerial photograph of Keflavik International Airport. Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit: SuperJetInternational 

There are free strollers if you are travelling with children, as well as a children’s play area. Naturally, there are baggage carriers and wheelchairs readily available. And for those who can’t help but suck on the old coffin-tack, the airport has dedicated smoking areas readily available.

On the upper floor of the main building, one will find a large variety of duty-free shops offering a range of souvenirs, traditional duty-free items and entertainment, as well as food kiosks. It is recommended that you stock up on alcohol whilst at the duty-free (if you enjoy the tipple, that is), as the prices at the airport are far more reasonable than in the state-run liquor store, Vínbúðin.

Despite the enormous increase in passenger numbers, Keflavík airport has consistently managed to keep waiting times down to a minimum; in June 2017, 89% of passengers had to wait to check in for less than five minutes, whilst 98% of passengers had to wait for less than ten minutes. This is a staggering achievement, given that June is the third biggest month for arrivals in Iceland.

Keflavík airport is also consistently on the list of the 100 best airports in the world, at number 98 in 2017, dropping down from being number 72 in 2016. 

How to Go From Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik?        

Hallgrimskirkja in downtown Reykjavik.

First-time travellers to Iceland are sometimes taken aback to find Keflavík Airport is a forty minute drive from downtown Reykjavík. Fear not, however, as there are plenty of ways to make the transfer.



The first and most obvious answer is to rent a vehicle from one of the many rental agencies at the airport or through the Guide To Iceland rental marketplace. These include Budget Car & Van Rental, Hertz Iceland, Avis Car Rental, Europcar Iceland and many more. Renting a car in Iceland is recommended for a number of reasons, most important of which is that Iceland is a large country with attractions dispersed throughout.

By using your own vehicle, you can maximise, budget and organise your holiday with more freedom. Your choice of vehicle should reflect the seasons and your plans, however. There is no good reason for taking a city car along the mountain roads in winter, for instance.

One can also avoid the hassles associated with large tour groups and scheduled buses, meaning it's entirely up to you how long you want to stay at certain attractions.



If you are planning to rely on transport other than your own, there are a number of bus transfers available from the airport. Tickets can either be bought at the kiosks in the arrivals’ lounge or online beforehand (doing so prior to arrival is sure to save you precious holiday time). These airport shuttles travel directly between city hotels and the airport, though if you are travelling in a party of two or less, renting a car is often the cheaper option.

In 2020, construction will begin on a €758 million (approx. ISK 100 billion) rail line between Keflavík Airport and Reykjavík; the service will run every fifteen minutes, with the capacity to transport 2400 passengers per hour. The line will be 49 km (of which 14 km will be underground) and be named “Lava Express” after the dried lava plateau of Reykjanes Peninsula.

Given the expected visitor numbers, investors are now finally accepting the need for new transport options to and from the city. Tickets are expected to cost €26 (approx. ISK 3,300), comparable to other airport trains across the world.



The World Famous Blue Lagoon spa.Credit: Clry2

Whilst discussing the journey between the airport and the city, it would be remiss to not mention the world famous Blue Lagoon. Most travellers to Iceland visit these revitalising waters either on their day of arrival, just before heading into the city, or on their day of departure, just a few hours before their flight.

The Blue Lagoon is a roughly fifteen minutes drive from Keflavík Airport and half an hour from Reykjavík.



Where is Reykjavik Airport?             

Reykjavik Airport is in the western part of the city. The city has, in fact, outgrown this relatively small airport.Credit: Falco 

Reykjavik Airport is almost smack down in the centre of the city, but is not used for international flights. Instead it is the primary domestic airport in Iceland. The airport has shorter runways than Keflavík International Airport—three in total—meaning the airport is utilised for internal flights within Iceland and flights to neighbouring Greenland. The airport was constructed in 1940 by the British Army.



The airport is operated by the state enterprise, Isavia, and is the main hub for Eagle Air and Air Iceland Connect.

Air Iceland Connect flies to Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Ilulissat, Ísafjörður, Kulusuk and Nuuk.

Eagle Air flies to Bíldudalur, Gjögur, Húsavík, Höfn and Vestmannaeyjar (The Westman Islands.)

The future of Reykjavík Airport is heatedly debated in Iceland; the airport sits in the western part of the city on highly valuable land. Opponents to the airport’s current location argue against its sound pollution, whilst proponents value its contribution to the country’s domestic service.

Currently, there are three propositions as to the airport’s future:

                   1 ) Keep it where it is.
                   2 ) Constructing a new airport.
                   3 ) Closing the airport down and moving domestic services to Keflavík.



How Long Does it Take to Fly to Iceland?           

Northern Lights are seen over Iceland in wintertime, and can be seen from your aircraft!Iceland is conveniently located in between North America and mainland Europe and is the perfect stopover if you are flying between the United States or Canada and mainland Europe.

How long does it take to get to Iceland by plane you wonder? That obviously depends on where you are flying from, but it's surprisingly short if you're flying from New York City for example.

Below, you will find the approximate flight times from international major cities to Keflavík International Airport. Please be aware that these are reflective of the average flight times, though the connection/direct category is liable to change. 

  City of departure    Flight Time    Connection/direct  Stops
New York5h 40mDirectN/A
London3h 0mDirectN/A
Copenhagen3h 10mDirectN/A
Los Angeles9h 00mDirectN/A
San Francisco9h 00mDirectN/A
Chicago6h 35mDirectN/A
Helsinki3h 30mDirectN/A
Paris3h 20mDirectN/A
Amsterdam3h 15mDirectN/A
Rome4h 30mDirectN/A
Toronto6h 00mDirectN/A
Montréal5h 25mDirectN/A
Oslo2h 40mDirectN/A
Berlin3h 45mDirectN/A
Barcelona4h 30mDirectN/A
Zurich3h 40mDirectN/A
Stockholm3h 10mDirectN/A
Boston5h 40mDirectN/A
Miami8h 15mDirectN/A
Dublin2h 45mDirectN/A
Tel Aviv8h 5mDirectN/A
Beijing13h 50mConnectionvia Frankfurt
Hong Kong17h 50mConnection  via Helsinki or Oslo  
Tokyo15h 50mConnectionvia Amsterdam
Dubai11hConnectionvia Amsterdam
Seoul15h 30mConnectionvia Helsinki or Oslo

Icelandair and WOW Air             

A Wow Air Airbus A321Credit: Oliver Holzbauer 

Keflavik International Airport is the main hub for Iceland’s two largest airlines, WOW Air and Icelandair. Icelandair is Iceland’s main airline and is able to trace its history back to 1937 when the company—then known as Flugfélag Akureyrar—was just a small aircraft fleet stationed in Akureyri.

In October 1979, after decades of growth, the company adopted the ‘Icelandair’ monicker. Today, the company operates 18 gateways to North America and 26 gateways to mainland Europe, all the while boasting an excellent safety and service record.

WOW Air was founded in 2011 by Skúli Mogensen, making it the youngest fleet operating from Iceland. It also boasts the lowest carbon emissions, making it the perfect option for those visitors concerned with the environmental damage associated with air travel. Visitors to Iceland’s capital will also likely encounter the company’s new city bike-sharing scheme, a new, exciting and efficient addition to sightseeing in Reykjavík.  

Both companies follow strict environmental regulations in order to preserve and protect the Icelandic nature. Icelandair is known to persuade passengers to plant new trees in order to offset their carbon footprint, targeting neutrality by also fuelling their ground crew with reusable energy sources. WOW Air, on the other hand, doubles the donation of its passengers, forwarding the money to Landvernd, the Icelandic Environment Association.



Which Airlines Fly to Iceland and From Which Destinations?          

There are now 26 international airlines who fly to Iceland.

There are 26 airlines who fly to and from Iceland with gateways to over 90 major cities worldwide. Below is an inclusive list where you will find which airlines fly to Iceland as well as all possible arrival and departure points. 


Which Airlines Fly to Iceland?          

Here's a list of all the airlines that fly to Iceland:

Air Baltic, Air Berlin, Air Canada, Air Greenland, Air Iceland, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Czech Airlines, Delta, Lufthansa, EasyJet, Edelweiss, Eurowings, Finnair, Germania, Iberia Express, Icelandair, NIKI, Norwegian, Primera Air, SAS, Transavia, Travel Service, Vueling, Wizz Air, Wow Air.

Additionally Eagle Air, as well as Air Iceland, operate domestic flights within Iceland.


North America: Airports With Direct Flights to Iceland:    

Anchorage, Baltimore-Washington, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Edmonton, Halifax, Los Angeles, Miami Intl, Minneapolis, Montreal, New York JFK, New York Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa Intl, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington-Dulles.


Mainland Europe: Airports With Direct Flights to Iceland: 

Aberdeen, Alicante, Almeria, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel Mulhouse, Berlin Schönefeld, Berlin Tegel, Birmingham, Bremen, Bristol, Brussels, Budapest, Chania, Cologne Bonn, Cork, Dresden, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Friedrichshafen, Gdansk, Geneva, George Best Belfast City, Glasgow, Hamburg, Katowice, Kaunas, Las Palmas, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, Lyon, Madrid, Manchester, Milan-Malpensa, Munich, Nurnberg, Palma, Paris CDG, Paris Orly, Prague, Riga, Stuttgart, Tenerife, Trieste, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Zurich.  


Nordic Countries: Airports With Direct Flights to Iceland: 

Bergen, Billund, Copenhagen, Faroe Islands (Tórshavn), Gothenburg, Helsinki, Ilulissat, Kangerlussuaq, Kulusuk, Narsarsuaq, Nerlerit Innat, Nuuk, Oslo, Stockholm Arlanda.


Domestic Airports Within Iceland:           

Akureyri, Bíldudalur, Egilsstaðir, Gjögur, Grímsey, Húsavík, Höfn í Hornafirði, Ísafjörður, Reykjavík, Vopnafjörður, Westman Islands, Þórshöfn.


How Much Are Flights to Iceland?             

Please be aware that prices of flights to Iceland will differ from season to season. Airlines offer one-way, return and group fares, as well as a range of family packages. The most common points of departure to Iceland are Copenhagen, New York City and London, therefore offering possibly the best prices from N-America and Europe.

For further information on travelling to and from Iceland or for specific information on flight prices and durations, please contact your travel agent directly. 

An aerial shot of Iceland; beauty from above!