Vw From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 253 posts, RR: 1 Posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4122 times:
With Northwest having 2 daily services to AMS and KLM coming back this summer it seams odd that Icelandair would fly into MSP. How long have they been flying into MSP? Is there any particular reason that they fly into MSP?
-more people live in Fresno than Iceland, so even a "large Icelandic community" would be miniscule
-this route maintains profitability through connections (including some Scandinavian cities, so I guess you're closer to reality than others)
-MSP is one of the top 15 largest metropolitan areas in the United States... and NW does need a little competition at the airport... the three AMS dailies are largely filled by connecting passengers
-considerations for ethnic routes pale in comparison to consideration for business routes... basically, there's money to be made here and FI has carved out a nice little niche. Add to this the fact that NW has been more than accomodating to them (gates, check-in areas, etc) and Icelandair has found a recipe for success at MSP.
NWA Man From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1828 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3828 times:
We meet again NWA Man
Just because the population of Iceland is miniscule, it doesn't mean there isn't a large world-wide Icelandic diaspora.
True... I'll give you that point. But Lebanon's population is about 12-13 times the population of Iceland. So say that Lebanon's diaspora is also typical of Iceland's... (unlikely... no offense meant, but aside from a few volcanoes, Iceland hasn't been subjected to anything like the political problems in Lebanon) that there are about five times as many Icelandic people outside of Iceland than actually living in the country. That would equal about 1.5 million people. Odds are that there's not enough Icelanders in Minneapolis to justify around 1,000 weekly seats to and from Iceland from the City of Lakes.
If there are, I'd like to know. Google couldn't give me any hard numbers of persons of Icelandic descent in the Upper Midwest, let alone Minneapolis. I'm going to stand by the point I made back in December - that this route exists because Keflavik is perfectly located as a connecting point for MSP-Europe flights until I learn differently.
Even if the Icelandic population in small there, they are all well-off and fly back home a number of times a year.
That's a nice statement. Care to back it up with any sort of facts?
All of that, aside from the fact that if you're going to Kulusuk, Reykjavik, Faroe Islands, Glasgow or London, you're going to overfly them on MSP-AMS.
KLM777 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 372 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3785 times:
To my best knowledge Icelandair is most popular with backpackers for their relatively cheap fares. I think they are not very attractive to business passengers, although their connection times are pretty good.
Pwm2txlhopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1395 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3702 times:
While I'd normally agree that leisure travelers of a specific ethnic group, traveling back and forth to/from their native countries wont' generally drive an airline to run a certain route, I believe in the case of FI at MSP that there might be some exception here.
For one reason, there is only one way to get to Iceland from the U.S., short of sailing the seas, and that is to fly. FI is you're only option for getting there to the best of my knowledge. That goes for business travelers too, unless they come from a company that has access to a corporate jet.
Secondly, not only is there a large Nordic population (Icelandic, Norwegian, Sweedish) in the Minneapolis metro area, there is also a large population of these groups for hundreds of miles around MSP throughout that Northern portion of the USA.
Also, from my personal experiences with FI, if you're flying to Northern Scandinavian destinations such as OSL, or ARN. You usually get there faster with the quick layover in Keflavic than you would connecting somewhere in Continental Europe.
Just my two cents.
Shawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3503 times:
FI is really the only way to fly to Iceland. You have to remember that US passengers are funneling into all 5 gateways from all over the US. You can't fly to Iceland if you don't pick up FI at one of these cities. So it's not so much a question of O&D from MSP: there are passengers from all over the US connecting through MSP to get to KEF.
For example, a friend of mine is flying DEN-MSP-KEF on Saturday. NW/FI
I really don't buy that "Icelandic population" argument. Sure, there are some Icelandic people in Minneapolis. Doesn't accout for much traffic. FI's traffic comes from all over the US.
USAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3483 times:
Semantics or not, Reykjavik has its own airport for domestic flights, and KEF is 50 km from Reykjavik (not exactly close by)...me being the geographically stingy person that I am, I still do not like that map at all...
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
NWA Man From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1828 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3432 times:
Very true. Although MSP accounts for a large percentage of FI's O&D traffic, many passengers are known to interline between NW and FI if their final destination is Keflavik. LAX-MSP-KEF, SEA-MSP-KEF, and SFO-MSP-KEF are examples of this. Perhaps this is why NW is so eager to lend a helping hand to Icelandair - passengers on the FI flights are funneled in via the NW system.
And although the Icelandic population may be a factor, I'd be more willing to admit that Nordic connections drive the flight (e.g. MSP-KEF-ARN), instead of O&D between MSP and KEF.
TFJamie From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3385 times:
One more thing, the MSP thing is a very good expansion to Icelandair's route network because all the other destinations in the US are on the east coast. So this is generally considered as the hub do go through for the rest of the US. Why MSP and not other airports in the area? It's one of the shortest flights from KEF to anywhere in the mid-US and they apparently got very well on with NW, there is, I think, an agreement about the traffic funneling from western US via MSP through to KEF.
Iceland having a population of 300000 has around the same number of people all around the world, at most. There is very little percentage of the pax on these flight flying for ethnic reasons. Maybe the Nordic connections, but still a great minority, and do not by a long shot justify the flight.
Regarding KEF being far away from Reykjavik. It is 50 km, but it's a straight road in an unbuilt area and there's never heavy traffic there so the travel time is around 15-20 minutes to the outskirts of Reykjavik (that's only 30km) and if Reykjavik would have an international airport it would not be closer. The Travel time from KEF to REK or the city center is 40 minutes, not much more than anywhere else in the world, and certainly an easy connection. $90 taxi trip or $10 bus trip.
Gte439u From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 364 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3231 times:
To argue that the Scandinavian-American community drives the FI flights to MSP is a flawed one. According to the United States Library of Congress, Scandinavian immigration to the United States peaked around 1900 and stopped almost completely around 1930. Therefore, most of the Scandinavian-Americans in the area will maintain very few ties with the land of their ancestors since they have not lived in Europe for 100 years. For example, my mother's family moved to Minnesota from Sweden in 1890's, but there has been little contact with our European relatives in the ensuing years.
Generally speaking, ethnic heritage travel is a large factor only when the immigrant population is relatively new to the United States. One can look towards the Mexican or Colombian communities as examples where ethnic heritage travelers make up a large portion of the passengers.
LH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3162 times:
I have to disagree a bit with Gte439u. I have friends of Swedish descent whose family has been here for a long time yet they still have travelled to Sweden several times. While I don't feign this to be indicative of all descendants of immigrants, I think despite the separation there is still a desire to see where one came from. I know that I'd one day like to see Ireland (the last remaining country of descent I haven't been to) even though my family has been here over 80 years.
In my opinion there are two things that drive European travel for Americans. One being going to a place where English is spoken, like the UK or Ireland. The other is where your family is from. If only just because in someways it's a familiar place to start off from.
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