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More Tourists Than Icelanders Fly Out of Iceland

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More Tourists Than Icelanders Fly Out of Iceland

EasyJet plane

Photo: Wikipedia.

Last February, more Britons than Icelanders checked in for flights from Keflavík International Airport. There were around 23,000 British passengers and 21,000 Icelandic ones. Until that point Icelanders had been the single biggest nationality using the airport every month of the year.

In February this year the same thing happened again, except even more so, with 29,250 Brits flying out of Keflavík and 23,400 Icelanders. A total of 94,000 people checked in for flights at Keflavík in February, a quarter of whom traveled with Icelandic passports. Transatlantic passengers on connecting flights at Keflavík are not counted in the figures.

The proportion of Icelanders flying out of Iceland in February each year has rapidly declined since the financial crisis in 2008, when Icelanders made up 60 percent of all passengers. It was 45 percent in 2009 and stayed about that level until 2012 – with further reductions since. The development is far more to do with increasing tourist numbers visiting Iceland than a reduction in Icelandic trips overseas.

The number of foreign nationals flying out of Iceland was 18,000 (34.4 percent) higher this year than in 2014, with a similar set of figures for January, RÚV reports.

42 percent of all foreign nationals flying out of Iceland were British, and Americans came in second spot on 12 percent.

The number of British tourists visiting Iceland in the month of February has increased from 7,000 in 2010 to 30,000 this year—a development the Icelandic tourist board puts down to marketing campaigns in the UK and better provision of airline seats, with new services from EasyJet and Norwegian and more UK emphasis from the Icelandic airlines WOW air and Icelandair. There is also a general surge of interest in Iceland among British people at the moment, the agency claims.

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