The Kansas City International Airport (KCI) will host three weekly direct international flights to the Keflavik International Airport near Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, beginning May 26. The flights will offer connections to and from more than 25 destinations in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. KCI was chosen as a hub for Iceland Air because of its 3,000,000 person market with no direct flights to Europe. Iceland Air Representative Michael Raucheisen questioned why no one has taken advantage of KCI as an international travel hub.
KCI’s short term goal is to offer seasonal flights through Iceland Air from May to September. Their long term goal is to offer year-round Iceland Air flights. KCI believes that Iceland Air will allow Americans to have access to low cost European flights for holidays. KCI officials have lobbied international airlines to partner with KCI. Officials argued that KCI would be perfect for Iceland Air because more airlines are using smaller planes so KCI would have room. Kansas City Mayor Sly James endorsed Iceland Air as it would connect American and European businesses and markets. This would create stable jobs and grow the economy.
The decision to incorporate Iceland Air into KCI will hopefully attract more Americans to travel to Europe. This will potentially encourage Europeans to visit the Kansas City and KC metro area as well. Kansas City contains global businesses that operate in Europe as well as other parts of the world, so Iceland Air can help Kansas City’s economic growth.
Iceland Air can also help travelers by increasing flight competition as a low-cost airline. When Iceland Air opens in KCI it could potentially persuade other airlines to decrease costs leading to more flight options and cheaper airfare. It could also create a more competitive environment between KCI and other U.S. international airports.
The new airline will come after a $12 million construction project to revitalize the international arrivals and departure area. This is just one part of a $1 billion renovation to ease pedestrian congestion. Construction will begin in the fall of 2018 and is expected to end in late 2021. Plans have been made to eventually demolish Terminals A and C but have not yet been finalized. The new larger terminal will improve passenger mobility.
The new renovations may make it possible for KCI to attract additional international flight companies in the future.
Photo Courtesy of Travel + Leisure.