DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today led a delegation of Colorado business and community leaders to Iceland to explore the economic development opportunities that lie ahead with Icelandair’s new non-stop flight to Denver.
Icelandair will launch its year-round, non-stop service between Denver and Reykjavik, Iceland with an inaugural inbound flight on Thursday, May 10.
“Today is an exciting day as we open Denver’s doors to new, international relationships with great partners like Iceland,” Mayor Hancock said. “Growing our international air service will not only expand the list of destinations available to travelers, but will also play an important role in boosting the local economy and expanding our tourism reach.”
The airline will become the fifth international airline to serve Denver International Airport (“DIA”). The new flight is estimated to generate nearly 300 jobs and $28 million in annual economic impact to the State of Colorado and serve as a gateway to 20 European destinations.
Joining the Mayor on the trip to Iceland are members of the Denver City Council, VISIT Denver, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Colorado Ski Country USA, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and Office of Tourism. In addition, the U.S. Ambassador to Iceland will participate in most of the delegation's activities in Iceland.
While visiting Iceland, the delegation will meet with Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Icelandic Minister of Economic Affairs Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Reykjavik Mayor Jón Gnarr Kristinsson and members of the U.S. Embassy in Iceland. They will also host roundtables with local businesses and tourism representatives to promote future economic opportunities as well as re-launch the Icelandic-American Chamber of Commerce.
A delegation of Icelandic businesses and community leaders will return to Denver with Mayor Hancock and the Colorado representatives for a similar itinerary.
In September 2011, Mayor Hancock was joined by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Denver International Airport leadership and Icelandair representatives to announce that Denver had been chosen as the newest North American market to be served by Icelandair.
“We are excited to step off the first flight of the first new carrier to offer transatlantic service at DIA in more than 10 years,” the Mayor said. “Icelandair will have a significant, positive impact on the local economy and we look forward to giving them a “Mile High” welcome to our world-class city.”