NEW DELHI: Iceland is hopeful of greater tourism and students’ intake from India, as Iceland-based airlines WOW air announced direct flights from New Delhi to North America and Europe via Iceland’s capital Reykjavik from December.

“The launch of the airlines is going to improve India and Iceland relations, but mainly it’s going to improve people to people relationship. There is a growing interest among the Indians to visit our country,” Iceland’s ambassador to India, Thorir Ibsen told The Sunday Guardian. Ibsen said that the percentage of Indian tourists coming to Iceland has increased by almost 50% in the recent time. He said he was confident that this would further increase Indian tourist footfall to Iceland. “Getting a direct flight is going to make this figure (of tourism) much higher,” he said. Ibsen emphasised that since a lot of Indian students are interested in pursuing education in Iceland, the new flights will be beneficial. “In terms of other places we are a smaller country, but of course it will be much easier for Indian students to come and study here,” he said. WOW air founder and CEO, Skuli Mogensen said that the airlines’ one-way fares for flights from New Delhi to Reykjavik and to US destinations like New York and Los Angeles will be Rs 13,499 (including tax) for basic economy, excluding meals and check-in bags. It would operate five days a week and it currently serves 39 destinations across Europe and North America. Mogensen said, “What sets us apart from other airlines is simply the smile, which is usually forgotten. We use actors to train our crew members to be friendly on-board and to pay attention.” WOW air will start its operation from 7 December 2018.

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