Kansas City Loses Its First Ever Transatlantic Flight From KCI

Oct 1, 2019
Originally published on October 1, 2019 1:29 pm

After two summers flying directly from Kansas City to Reykjavik, Iceland, Icelandair will discontinue service to Kansas City International Airport.

In a brief announcement Monday, the carrier said it was canceling its service to Kansas City and San Francisco for “commercial reasons.”

Kansas City officials announced the addition of its first-ever nonstop transatlantic flight in January of 2018 with great fanfare.

Passengers on the inaugural flight received a water salute, goody bags and a visit from Iceland’s ambassador to the United States.

At the time, officials hoped the new flight would bring down European fares and open the door for additional European flights.

In a statement Monday evening, Aviation Director Pat Klein said he was disappointed but thanked Icelandair for its two summers of service.

“I’m proud of the Aviation staff who worked so diligently to bring Icelandair to Kansas City and am thankful for the way this community supported the new service,” Klein said.

“Going forward, Aviation staff will continue to meet with airlines with the intent to grow Kansas City’s international access.”

The aviation department said demand for transatlantic flights increased as a result of Icelandair’s service.

It said prior to Icelandair’s arrival, demand for transatlantic trips in the summer months averaged over 400 passengers a day each way, with a peak month in June 2017 that exceeded 550 daily passengers.

It says in June 2019, transatlantic demand at KCI increased to nearly 800 passengers per day each way.

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on twitter @larodrig.

Copyright 2019 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.