Route Analysis: Akureyri-Manchester

Credit: Suranga Weeratuna / Alamy Stock Photo

Manchester, England, has been announced as the fourth destination that will be served by Icelandic startup Niceair.

The new airline is based at Akureyri in northern Iceland, a city at the base of Eyjafjörður Fjord which is a popular destination for tourists to see the Northern Lights.

Service from Akureyri (AEY) to Manchester (MAN) will begin in October, operating twice a week using an Airbus A319 in a single-class 150-seat configuration. Niceair is wet-leasing the aircraft from Portuguese ACMI specialist Hi Fly.

Akureyri is about 100 km from the Arctic Circle and was previously only accessible via a five-hour drive or connecting domestic flights from Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF). From June 2, the virtual carrier will launch its first flights from the city to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen (CPH).

Service to London Stansted (STN) will start the next day, followed by flights to Tenerife (TFS) from June 8.

At present, Akureyri is served by two airlines, with Icelandair operating 29X-weekly to Keflavik and Norlandair offering domestic links to Grimsey (GRY) and Vopnafjordur (VPN). In addition, Norlandair serves Neerlerit Inaat (CNP) in Greenland once a week.

OAG Schedules Analyser data shows that Manchester currently has three connections to Iceland, with easyJet, Icelandair and offering 2X-weekly, 4X-weekly and 1X-weekly flights to Keflavik respectively.





Airbus A319



Start date:

October 2022


1,622 km

O&D traffic demand (2019):


Annual growth (2019 vs 2018):


Average base fare (2019):


David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.