Sunny and damned cold! Appropriate considering it’s the first day of winter according to the old Icelandic calendar. That nasty wind is the culprit once more … crept back in during the night after a welcome absence over these past two days or so. Strange how it never seems cold in Iceland except when there’s a wind.
Interesting tid-bit in the paper this morning. Seems Icelandair has been doing some investing and bought a share in EasyJet. That’s low-cost airline EasyJet and high-cost airline Icelandair, incidentally. Wonder what that will mean for those of us who are almost totally dependent on Icelandair to get us off this barren rock. Will it translate into cheaper air fares?
Until recently, Icelandair charged whatever they pleased and we, the humble proletariat of Iceland, had to fork it over if we wanted to see the world. Trips to North America were the privilege of the well-to-do or those travelling on business accounts – and indeed, still are. (Meanwhile, North Americans can visit Iceland for a song as we have been enlisted to supplement their fares to Europe. Is this just?) Then came deliverance in the form of low-cost airline Iceland Express, which offered flights to both London and Copenhagen. Finally, competition for Icelandair – which responded by substantially reducing its fares to Europe. Yay!
When Iceland Express recently announced that they were going to sack (that’s ‘fire’ to you Americans) all their flight attendants and re-hire them for reasons of efficiency, a ripple of fear coursed through the Icelandic nation. How to interpret this? Were Iceland Express going bust? If such a calamity were to occur, we would be back under the boots of Icelandair, who would undoubtedly not be long in jacking up them fares again. Oy!
So what’s in the cards now? One wonders. Will EasyJet be brought in to oust Iceland Express – or will Icelandair simply keep their money overseas and focus on the European market? Will Iceland Express continue to be the salvation of the Icelandic traveller? Will all three airlines take the stand on Icelandic soil and battle it out for domination – because, let’s face it, with a mere 290,000 punters domestically, the market ain’t exactly worth its weight in gold.
Sunrise was at 8.44 – sunset scheduled for 17.39.