Icelandair suspends direct flights between Edmonton and Reykjavik
Halting service will 'leave us with a bit of a quandary,' says business owner
An Edmonton business that relies on direct flights from Iceland was shocked to learn this week that Icelandair is suspending its service to the city.
"It was a surprise," said Pat Batten, co-owner of Ocean Odyssey Inland Seafood. "Icelandair will be removing their flights from Edmonton, which will leave us with a bit of a quandary."
- Edmonton International Airport saw dip in passenger traffic in 2016
- Edmonton fish market gets big catch from Iceland
The airline flies direct to Edmonton from Reykjavik six times a week, but those flights will begin to be phased out in November. Flights will be suspended altogether between January and Mar. 19.
Batten relies on the airline to deliver most of her seafood for sale in the business.
"To us, it's the major backbone to our company," she told CBC's Edmonton AM host Mark Connolly Friday.
The seafood company has operated for 17 years, but joined forces with Icelandair for seafood supplies shortly after the airline began making direct flights to Edmonton in 2014.
"It was just by fluke we happened to connect with Iceland, and now most of our fish is coming in from Iceland because of the quality of what they're shipping in to us," Batten said.
Icelandair spokesperson Michael Raucheisen attributed the suspension to a drop in the number of passengers.
"I believe it was just lack of demand," he said.
Batten said she's working with the airline to find alternate flights to get her product to Edmonton.
"Icelandair is on our side to try and help us," she said. "As long as we can move everything through and maintain temperature, that's our goal."