In Iceland, Akureyri is called the Capital Of The North. Excluding the Reykjavik Metropolitan Area, it is the largest city on the island. The long travel distances and travel times, especially in winter, require a good network of domestic flights. In August 2021, I had my first-ever flight from Akureyri Airport (AEY). The flight with the domestic provider Norlandair to Grimsey (GRY) failed due to bad weather and had to divert back to Akureyri – but that at least gave me some impressions of the airport. Here are my thoughts.
Akureyri Airport (AEY) – Location & Transport
Akureyri Airport (AEY) is located South of the city center. The runway of the airport is partially built into the Eyjafjördur fjord. The two terminal buildings are in fact connected – you hardly recognize that you walk from one building into the other once you are inside the terminal building.
There is no public transport to the airport. There are sufficient short-term and long-term parking lots in front of the airport. The alternative way to get to the airport is to get a taxi or hotel shuttle. You can catch rental cars from numerous rental car companies at Akureyri Airport – none of the companies does run an office in the terminal, though (see below). The Hertz office is in walking distance.
Akureyri Airport (AEY) – Connections
Akureyri Airport (AEY) is majorly serving domestic connections. Icelandair is connecting Akureyri with the Reykjavik Domestic Airport (RKV). Another major carrier at the airport is Norlandair, who offer flights to Grimsey (GRY) as well as to Thorshöfn (THO) and Vöpnafjordur (VPN). Norlandair also serviced an international connection from Akureyri Airport, to Nerlerit Inaat in Greenland.
The vast majority of planes handled in Iceland’s North are turboprop planes like the DHC-Dash or the Twin Otter. Nonetheless, the airport features a 2,400 meter runway. The key reason for that is to be able to serve as a replacement airport for Iceland’s international one, Keflavik (KEF). The same applies to an airport in the very East of Iceland, Egilsstadir (EGS). During “normal” operations, you may just walk between check-in, waiting lounge and arrivals as you like. The domestic flights don’t come with hand luggage checks. However, the airport may alter the walking routes and install security checks. In order to still be able to serve domestic departures, there is an additional waiting room (which even has a work desk). Hard to believe that Akureyri is serving Icelandsair’s B767 planes here, though. In the past, there have been scattered charter flights to the airport as well
Arriving at Akureyri Airport (AEY)
Of course, there is no jet bridge or similar – you simply walk from the aircraft to the terminal, which has quite a cute arrivals area. At good weather, the short stroll is worth enjoying – nature around Akureyri is beautiful. Arrivals services like rental car companies can typically be connected by courtesy phones.
Departing from Akureyri Airport (AEY)
There is a small departure area with four check-in counters – one is typically used for air cargo only. As my flight to Grimsey was in parallel to a Reykjavik flights, the some twenty pax of the Norlandair flight were serviced by Icelandair once they completed the check-in for the capital flight. The waiting lounge is some twenty meters away – Akureyri truly gives you short routes. The waiting area was already quite packed by people wanting to take the DHC-Dash flight to England.
Without a doubt, the heart of the airport is the cute (but slightly expansive) airport cafe, right at the entrance to the gates. You may refresh yourself with all travel needs. I really enjoyed the place, also due to the large glass windows and the beautiful view of the Akureyri mountains.
Akureyri Airport (AEY) – Services
The key service of the airport is the lovely cute airport cafe, which is offering drinks, sandwiches, coffee, beer and snacks. The check-in staff was really helpful and friendly. The airport offers free WiFi.
Akureyri Airport (AEY) – My View
Akuryri Airport is really a cute little regional airport. Hard to imagine to really have international departures from there – but for the domestic services, it is definitely a reasonable hub. The parking situation and the lovely views from the cafe are definitely the highlights.
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