Greenland is a dream for many, and booking a flight to this remote northern territory is about to get a lot easier for those living in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to the new flight route that's set to make traveling somewhat of a breeze, a number of transfers were involved in flights from the U.S. to Greenland. For travelers, this obviously takes time out of a vacation plan, not to mention drives up the costs of flights, in general.
Those wishing to visit Greenland in the near future have Icelandair to thank for the sudden (good) change in flights. The switch will make for smooth sailing - so to speak - when it comes to avoiding layovers and transfers.
Here's what else you should know about booking this new, easy flight to Greenland.
Flying Into Keflavik, Iceland, And Then Head To Reykjavik For A Flight To Greenland
Anyone who has visited Greenland from North America knows that the process is complicated, to say the least. Up until now, any trip to Greenland involved multiple flights and, occasionally, an outlandish detour to a destination such as Copenhagen in order to re-route. For those who don't take such a detour, an alternative option would start with a flight to Iceland's Keflavik airport which, at the time, did not offer direct flights to Greenland. From Keflavik, travelers would be required to find a way to Reyjavik Airport, which was the only one servicing flights directly from Iceland to Greenland. Thus, the total trip could take longer than a day - sometimes, multiple days if travelers decided to spend the night in Iceland before moving onto Greenland.
The addition of this extra flight, as well as three to four hours in between during the transfer from one airport to the next, is nothing short of a tremendous hassle. The costs also begin to pile up, as travelers have had to worry about booking a flight from their starting point to Keflavik, then to Reykjavik, plus the transportation in between - and do it all over again upon their return. This is why a more direct route, starting in the summer of 2022, is set to revolutionize the process of traveling from North America to Greenland.
The New, Easier Route: Flying Into Keflavik For A Direct Flight Into Greenland
While it may have seemed somewhat backward that flights into Greenland departed from Reykjavik, an airport that's smaller than Keflavik, Icelandair has set out to change all of that. Now, rather than having to book transportation between airports and a secondary flight out of Reyjavik, Icelandair is ending the process after Keflavik. This means that travelers will only need to worry about flying into Keflavik Airport before a second flight that will take them directly to Greenland. By eliminating the need to transfer to Reykjavik, travelers are now looking at a single-day flight process, with the potential for only one transfer, depending on where in North America one is coming from.
Keflavik has expanded to include these flights to Greenland in their list of offered flights, meaning this summer, travelers can expect a far easier route than what they've been used to. Furthermore, Icelandair is planning on a complimentary schedule, as well, for flights between the U.S. and Canada to Keflavik. This means that time departures to and from Greenland will match the flights coming in and out of North America.
What About Flying With Air Greenland?
Those wishing to travel domestically within Greenland can travel via Air Greenland, as it's one of two (with the other being Icelandair) offering international flights. With that being said, those wishing to fly into Greenland via Air Greenland will need to wait until next year. Construction on airports in both Nuuk and Ilulissat is expected to be completed by 2024, according to Condé Nast Traveler which will open up an entire new list of direct flights from North America and Europe to Greenland.
The response to increased tourism in Greenland is what has spurred the move to create more direct flights. The biggest draw by far is Nuuk, which offers astounding arctic landscapes that are even greater, at times, than those of Alaska - another popular glacial destination for those in North America. With that being said, there will certainly be an increase in traffic between both continents, which has drawn concern for some when it comes to protecting Greenland's fragile arctic environment.
While the future of travel and tourism remains to be seen following the new flights this summer, it is something travelers can look forward to if Greenland has been a bucket-list destination.