Alaska Airlines and Icelandair announce codeshare and Frequent Flier partnership agreement

Courtesy: Icelandair.

Courtesy: Icelandair.

Alaska Airlines and Icelandair have entered into a codeshare agreement and frequent flier partnership, which will give customers easier connections and more ways to earn benefits when flying between the U.S. and Europe.

With the new codeshare agreement, to take effect Nov. 1 pending government approval, customers flying on Alaska Airlines and Icelandair will enjoy seamless reservations and ticketing, one-stop check-in, baggage checked to its final destination, coordinated flight schedules, the ability to earn miles and/or points on the reciprocal airline and consistent passenger service standards.

Elite-level members of each airline’s frequent flier program also will receive reciprocal club lounge benefits.

“This new partnership with Icelandair is another example of how Alaska is raising the bar to allow its Mileage Plan members to travel and earn miles to all corners of the globe through a diverse network of international carriers,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “Icelandair offers our frequent fliers a unique option for flying and earning miles to Europe from our Seattle, Portland and Anchorage gateways.”

Icelandair operates flights from 16 cities in North America to Iceland with connections to more than 20 destinations in Europe, including Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London and Paris. Travelers can also enjoy an Icelandair stop-over to visit the city of Reykjavik and tour surrounding areas for up to seven nights at no additional airfare charge.

“With today’s announcement of our Alaska Airlines partnership, Icelandair continues to expand its network, including more flights, more gateways and more destinations,” said Helgi Mar Bjorgvinsson, Icelandair’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Our codeshare flights and mileage partnership will make travel seamless from the West Coast, reward frequent travelers on both Icelandair and Alaska Airlines, and offer our passengers even more options when traveling to Iceland and beyond.”

As an added benefit, starting Oct. 1 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold and Gold 75K members will receive complimentary access to Icelandair’s Saga Lounge at Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavik and Icelandair Saga Gold and Silver members will enjoy complimentary access to Alaska Board Room lounges in Seattle, Portland, Anchorage and Los Angeles.

Members of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan can begin earning miles on Icelandair starting Oct. 1, and through Dec. 15, 2015 the airline is offering double miles.* Miles flown will count toward elite status in Alaska’s Mileage Plan. Members of Icelandair’s Saga Club can begin earning Saga Points for flights on Alaska starting Oct. 1. Redemption for award travel will start later this year.

Icelandair has a long history of providing flights from the United States to Europe. The airline offers onboard Wi-Fi access, personal inflight entertainment, three cabins of service and two free checked bags for customers. Icelandair Saga Club, Icelandair´s frequent flier program, offers members multiple options to redeem their Saga Points, whether it is a flight with Icelandair, onboard refreshments and duty free items, hotel accommodations around the world or gift certificates at various retailers in U.S. and Canada. The most frequent fliers with Saga Gold and Silver status enjoy excellent benefits, such as upgrades, lounge access and extra baggage allowance.

Over the last few years Alaska has grown its codeshare and frequent flier partnerships with the world’s best airlines to provide customers with convenient service to most every point on the globe. In July, Alaska added China-based carrier Hainan Airlines as a Mileage Plan partner. Mileage Plan was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs, Two Years in a Row” in the J.D. Power Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report.

Source: Alaska Airlines.

Icelandair Group announces continued growth in international flights for 2015

Icelandair Boeing 757-223.

Icelandair Boeing 757-223.

Icelandair Group’s international flight schedule for 2015 will be the largest in the company´s history.  The schedule will see a 12% increase from 2014 and include two new gateways plus added capacity in several gateways in both North America and Europe.  The number of passengers is estimated to be 2.9 million in 2015, an increase of approximately 300,000.  A total of 23 Boeing 757 aircraft will be used in the Route Network next summer, two more than this summer.

The operation of the international Route Network has more than doubled since 2009.  The number of flights next year will exceed 10,000, while only six years ago that number was 4,500.  At that time passengers numbered approximately 1.3 million or 45% of the number estimated in 2015. This continued growth will strengthen the tourist industry of Iceland further.

The company will increase flights to most of its destinations next summer. Specifically, 12 flights will be added weekly to both North America and Europe for a total of 24 flights,  from 254 departures from Keflavik airport weekly, to 278 departures over the high season next summer. Birmingham, UK and Portland, Oregon, USA will be added as new destinations but flights to St.Petersburg, Russia will not continue.

As an example of how the company’s Route Network is consolidating and strengthening with these changes, it is worth mentioning that from today there will be flights to seven cities in North America year-round, while two years ago there were four. Today there are daily flights year-round to six cities in Europe where Amsterdam and Paris have been added in the last two years.

The Route Network has been built around the hub at Keflavik International Airport, with morning flights to cities in Europe and afternoon flights to North America. In recent years the company has been building up a secondary bank of flights with departures just before noon. Today the secondary bank includes two daily departures to North America and four departures to cities in Europe. The third daily departure to North America will now be added and the fifth departure to Europe. Growth of the secondary bank presents opportunity of two different departure times within the same day, eases the congestion at Keflavik Airport and supports the primary bank.

The company will start scheduled flights to and from Portland, Oregon on the west coast in the US, on May 19th, 2015. The population of Portland metropolitan area is around 2.3 million. Portland will be the company‘s 14th destination in North America. There will be flights two times per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays until October 20th.

Flights to Birmingham, UK have previously been announced, and will start in February 2015. Birmingham will be the company‘s fifth destination in the UK. There will be flights two times in a week, on Thursdays and Mondays, starting from February 5th, 2015.

Source: Icelandair Group.