And here is the full story, the official press release from FI
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Icelandair is pleased to announce the opening of its sixth North American gateway in San Francisco, California. This will be the airline’s first direct service from the west coast, with current gateways in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Boston, New York-JFK
and Orlando. San Francisco operations will be launched on May 18 and continue through October 15, 2005, with two weekly flights May 18 – June 1 and September 1 – October 15 (Wednesdays and Saturdays), increasing to four from June through August (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). Flights are scheduled to arrive from Iceland at 6:30pm and depart from San Francisco at 11:30pm.
“The San Francisco gateway will open new channels for transatlantic travel from not only the west coast but also cities in the southwestern United States and the northwest areas of the United States and Canada,” said Gunnar Eklund, General Manager The Americas, “as well as to destinations in the Pacific, such as Hawaii,” he added. Icelandair will operate a Boeing 767 aircraft with a seating capacity of 260, 30 seats in Business Class and 230 in Economy Class.
“Numerous requests for travel information about Iceland and Scandinavia indicated that there was a void in this market,” Eklund continued, “leading to Icelandair’s decision to make San Francisco our new gateway.” Eklund believes the airline’s expansion to the west coast will further enhance an already strong performance in the US/Canadian market.
In Europe, the airline will connect through its hub in Reykjavik, Iceland, via a newly implemented bank of afternoon direct flights to Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Frequency will vary to some destinations, depending on days of operations.
The popularity of Iceland as a destination has been enhanced by the airline’s “Take-A-Break” program, which enables travelers to visit up to seven days at no additional airfare while en route between North America and Scandinavia, the UK and Continental Europe. Icelandair’s current summer route network includes Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Hamburg, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm and Zurich.
Icelandair, the flag carrier of Iceland, has been crossing the North Atlantic since 1948, offering regularly scheduled flights for more than half a century. Founded in 1937, Icelandair is the only airline in existence today with such a long and distinguished record on the transatlantic route. Safety, convenient schedules, short flying times, on-time performance and customer service have been the hallmarks of Icelandair operations.
In stark contrast with the international aviation industry, the Icelandair Group has seen unprecedented success in the last two years. The Icelandair Group consists of flight and travel service companies, which form the foundation of the fast growing Icelandic tourist industry, and include Icelandair, Icelandair Cargo, Icelandair Hotels, Air Iceland, Iceland Travel, Reykjavik Excursions, Icelandair/Hertz, Icelandair Ground Services, Icelandair Technical Services, Loftleidir-Icelandic and Icelandair Shared Services.