Icelandair marked 25 years of service at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on June 7, celebrated with a gate event at Terminal 2, hosted by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC).
Icelandair first started providing flights to Iceland and connections to Europe for Upper Midwest travelers in 1998, and the Reykjavik flights remain a popular choice for travelers.
Brian Ryks, CEO of the MAC, greeted Icelandair CEO Bogi Nils Bogason, who flew in on the flight from Reykjavik. Ryks noted the importance of the 25-year partnership with Icelandair and wishing for 25 more and beyond.
Guests on the departing flight were treated to gate-side cupcakes, sparkling cider, music from DJ Mickey Breeze, and other gifts. The Icelandair 25th anniversary at MSP comes as transatlantic air travel is enjoying a rebound.
The Bjorge family from Fargo, N.D., was on the MSP-to-Reykjavik flight, and ready for a 10-day Iceland sight-seeing trip. Their itinerary included driving the ring road around the entire island, snorkeling in crystal clear water, horseback riding and a boat ride in the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
“My first trip to Iceland was in 1998, and I was on Icelandair on that trip too,” said Carrie Bjorge, who was traveling with her husband Joel and their son Chris.
Other passengers heading out on the June 7 flight to Reykjavik were connecting to a wide array of European destinations, including Munich, Germany; Bergen, Norway and Brussels, Belgium.
The Munich-bound fliers included 24 German-language students and teachers from Watertown-Mayer High School. Due to the pandemic, the school’s last trip to Germany was in 2018. The students’ activities for their one-month trip include a family stay in the Black Forest region and a visit to Austria.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” said Lynn Hendricks, a German teacher at the school.