Icelandair Ryder Cup flights bid as strikes are banned

AIRLINE chiefs, who were forced to cancel flights because of strike action by pilots, want to jet extra passengers to Scotland to watch the Ryder Cup.

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Icelandair is to lay on extra flights for the Ryder Cup
Icelandair is to lay on extra flights for the Ryder Cup

Icelandair is to lay on two extra flights to Glasgow to meet demand from Canadian and American golf fans who want to watch the top players at Glen-eagles in September.

But only last week we reported how scores of Scots were hit when their flight was scrapped because a strike meant the airline did not have enough crew for it to go ahead.Almost 30 flights were grounded on one day and an overtime ban disrupted routes.

In the wake of the chaos, the Icelandic Parliament outlawed strikes by the airline's pilots and industrial action by cabin crew.

Now hundreds of extra passengers are expected to jet out of Icelandair's hub, in Reykjavik, after executives decided to lay on 12 flights to Glasgow during a busy fortnight.

Iceland's national carrier usually operates five flights a week to the west coast hub.

The two extra flights will enable the airline to jet an extra 366 North America visitors to Scotland ahead of the 40th cup contest which starts on September 26.

The extra flights are planned for September 13 and 20.

Icelandair flies 110,000 Canadians and Americans to Glasgow each year. They are estimated to boost the city's economy by £50million.

Andres Jonsson, the airline's UK general manager, said: "Icelandair has been serving Glasgow for many years and since 2010 we have exper-ienced a positive momentum in travel to and from Glasgow with our increased requency, and we plan to build on that."

Glasgow Airport boss Amanda McMillan said: "The Ryder Cup is a huge draw for North American visitors and it is no surprise that Icelandair has reacted to an increase in demand by announcing additional capacity."

Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and chairman of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, added: "The USA and Canada are key markets for Glasgow and our research shows that golf, history and culture are huge draws for North American visitors."

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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