hidden europe 55

Flights to the Faroes

by hidden europe

Picture above: Atlantic Airways Airbus A319 landing at Copenhagen Airport (photo © Jens Fiskbaek / dreamstime.com).


Are the Faroe Islands perhaps thinking of emulating Iceland's success in attracting North Atlantic stopover traffic? Might travellers a few years hence stop off in the Faroe Islands en route from North America to the European mainland? We take a look at the islands' national airline, Atlantic Airways, as the carrier marks its 30th anniversary of linking the Faroes to the wider world.

It is 30 years since Faroese airline Atlantic Airways first took to the skies. There was huffing and puffing in Tórshavn over the notion of the island territory investing taxpayers’ funds in what was seen as a high-risk venture. Yet there was certainly real pride in seeing the first aircraft take off in 1988 from the island’s airport in Vágar.

In the early days, Atlantic relied upon venture capital and aviation advice from a small Danish airline called Cimber Air — a carrier which has long since slipped into aviation history. But within a few years, Atlantic Airways was running as an all-Faroese operation, providing lifeline links between the islands and Copenhagen. In the mid- 1990s additional Danish routes were added with flights to Aalborg and Billund.

This small airline has occasionally stretched its wings with more ambitious routes, including summer-season services to the nearby Shetland Islands and even flights to Narsarsuaq in Greenland. The short-lived Shetland flight continued with a non-stop hop from Sumburgh to London, launched in 2006. This was the only ever non-stop link between the Shetlands and London.

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