COLUMBIA, Md.--Luxembourg tourism officials said their country is
still very much in the European travel mix despite Icelandair's
ending its service to the destination.
The airline said declining passenger loads to Luxembourg led it
to drop its service there. "It's an unhappy situation, as we had a
long history with Icelandair," Anne Bastian, director of the
Luxembourg National Tourist Office, said. "They were a pioneer with
lower fares into Luxembourg via Iceland, but now the competition is
offering the same rates."
"This doesn't mean that Luxembourg is off the map," Bastian
added. "We do have our own airline, Luxair, flying into all the
capitals of Europe." Americans can connect to Luxair in Amsterdam,
Brussels, Frankfurt and London, she said. Some 35,000 Americans
visited Luxembourg last year, she said.
Icelandair, which will end its Iceland-to-Luxembourg route Jan.
9, plans to increase its flights between the U.S., Paris and
Frankfurt via Iceland sometime next year, she said. Known as the
"hippie airline" in the 1960s and '70s, Icelandair was the cheapest
route from the U.S. to Europe for years, with Luxembourg as the
Most recently the 61-year-old carrier brought U.S. travelers to
Luxembourg seven times a week. It had flown to Luxembourg since
1955, adding other European cities in 1989.
Icelandair flies from five North American airports: Boston;
Minneapolis; New York (Kennedy); Orlando, Fla., and Halifax, Nova
On Sept. 1, it started its first frequent flyer program with a
U.S. carrier, TWA.
In New York, Icelandair operation will be handled by British
Airways under the supervision of a five-person Iceland Air staff,
beginning Sept. 15.