Nonstop New York To Faroe Islands Flight Coming Summer 2019

Filed Under: Other Airlines

It looks like this may actually be happening — color me surprised!

Atlantic Airways & the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands has been on my bucket list for years (for those of you not familiar, it’s located East of Iceland and North of the UK). I’ve heard it has incredible nature, and it’s not nearly as overrun with tourists as the major hotspots in Iceland.

One of the reasons it’s probably not as touristy is because there’s fairly limited air service. Atlantic Airways is the airline of the Faroe Islands, and they only have three planes (one A319 and two A320s). In March 2019 they’re also expected to take delivery of two A320neo aircraft.

Historically they’ve operated quite a few seasonal routes, but their big year-round destinations are Bergen, Billund, Copenhagen, and Reykjavik, in addition to summer seasonal flights to some other European destinations.

In July I wrote about rumors that Atlantic Airways was considering flying to New York. This was according to media in the Faroe Islands, though an Atlantic Airways representative claimed to know nothing about this.

Atlantic Airways does in fact want to fly to New York

It looks like this is in fact happening. Atlantic Airways has filed with the US Department of Transportation requesting permission to operate seasonal flights between the Faroe Islands and New York as of late summer 2019.

The airline proposes using a 180 seat Airbus A320neo for the route. The flight would cover a distance of just over 3,000 miles, so should be within range for the aircraft.

To be honest, I didn’t think we’d actually see this happening. I figured it was one of those cases where something sounded fun, but the airline wouldn’t follow through.

While the Faroe Islands is on all kinds of lists of hot, emerging travel destinations, it’s not a terribly popular destination with Americans yet. For example, looking at the Faroe Islands’ 2016 annual report, Americans accounted for only about 3,300 “bed nights.” Presumably in most cases rooms have double occupancy, though I imagine most people stay for at least a few days, so that means there were likely fewer than 3,300 American tourists.

I suspect this isn’t due to a lack of interest, though, but rather due to a lack of a practical way to travel between the US and the Faroe Islands. Maybe this new direct flight will actually create a lot of demand.

What do you think — while few Americans have visited the Faroe Islands, do you think this route will stimulate demand?

(Featured image courtesy of Waka77)

  1. The problem is that they don’t have enough hotels to meet the demand. It’s easy to find a good flight deal to get there from Copenhagen but you often end up with no place to stay if you book late.

  2. The Faroe Islands is beautiful and completely remote and scenic. There are so many places to visit there without tourist infrastructure. The capital is a beautiful port town with some nice Nordic restaurants. I loved my 5 day trip there. Expect it to be on many travel blogs and magazines next year!

    Also someone will most likely fall into the sea from some very high cliff and then there will be lots of fences, so visit soon!

  3. I dont think you ll be able to cross this off your list.
    There are zero chain hotels.
    Lets hope it stays this way.

  4. I went there this summer, it’s now my favorite place in the world now. One of my favorite parts was the complete absence of tourists. I wish it would stay that way, so I wish they would keep Atlantic how it is.

  5. The Faroe Islands became my favorite place in the world when I traveled there this summer. Best of all was there were no dumb tourists trying to take selfies on the edges of cliffs. I wish it would stay untouched and authentic. So please, everyone that really wants to go will take the extra flight from CPH or KEF, and everyone else can go crowd Reykjavik.

  6. It’s a really beautiful place that I’d love to visit again. Of course, some of its beauty would be diminished with more tourists

  7. I’m selfish and feel this is devastating news, and I live in NYC. The Faroe Islands are so fantastically beautiful and unspoilt by the tourist hoards. If I were a better person I’d say this is great news for a very isolated people.

  8. Maybe beautiful and appeal to those Americans who love slaughtering animals as they go to enjoy the “ grindarap” placing the hook I n the blow hole in order to drag the whale to its death

  9. I agree with @K and @Icarus and lovely as the Faroe Islands are, I cannot condone with my fiscal support those practices with which I do not agree.

  10. Can they get JFK slots?

    I fear this is a money loser and a short lived route unless they do it about 3/week or have connecting service to CPH.

    If this flight is operated for the next decade, I put the chances of me flying on Atlantic at 60-40.

  11. Surely if those of us with aversions to horrific animal rights abuses refused to visit any country where such abuses take place, we would be left with nowhere to visit. Maybe Antartica and some islands? Also, it’s not clear to me that increased tourism to the Faroe Islands would increase the slaughter of whales—it might decrease it if more foreigners visit the islands, refuse to spend money on goods and services directly related to the slaughter, and make their aversion known to the locals. Hard to say ex ante.

  12. @Miramar
    +1, particularly that it is hard to say ex ante
    More such modesty from more people would make the world a better place.

  13. I went to the Faroe Islands in September 2018. It had been on my bucket list for 30+ years. It was beyond my expectations. It is stunningly beautiful, and the distances are so manageable. There are breathtaking sights around every turn of the fjords. The food was excellent and interesting. The people are helpful and kind. I have very mixed thoughts about US flights to the islands. I really don’t what this to become the next Iceland (which I enjoyed visiting before the hordes came). Overall, I think this is not good news.

  14. @Richard totally agree. We saw both the Faroes and Iceland, and the Faroes are so much better. Reykjavik is just turning into a tour bus city, I much prefer the unspoiled and wild nature. Keep the Faroes secret.

  15. It is a fantastic 3-4 day stop on your way to Europe. However, the number of connections are limited. I am so glad this is a seasonal-service from FAE, as the weather can be quite tough during the winter (October — late April), and diversions are quite common. I recall in my early days working as a red-cap in CPH. Sending away a flight from CPH to FAE, was like hitting “Roulette” in the casinos while approx. 50% of the flights returned.

    All the best for Atlantic Airways on their new flight. I was more hoping on news from Oman Air and their new route from MCT-NYC.

  16. A recent article in the New Yorker on the islands’ food culture may have nudged them. I’m sure it created new demand among a certain subset of the US traveling public.

  17. I’m super excited to see this flight! I have Been wanting to visit ever since I had a friend that was an exchange student in high school from the Faroe Islands. I’ve looked into flights but it’s not an easy place to get to and prices were pretty exorbitant. I was able to connect with the family of my friend who has since passed and are welcoming me to come visit. I’ll be in line to book.

  18. I am upset- I love the islands and cant imagine the locals will be too happy with the influx of tourists.
    Regarding the whales- they need food too and its a source of income.
    Lastly, they love Israel, so any haters can stay away.

  19. Oh no! What could be more punishing as white trash tourists are laying siege on Faroe Islands…

    I pity them. What’s next? Starbucks, McD, and chain hotels will eliminate local businesses and “Americanize” their pristine culture. What a shame.

  20. For those looking for a more relaxed way to travel, there’s a ferry that operates weekly between Denmark and Iceland that stops at the Faroes enroute.

  21. I have visited the Faroe Islands on two occasions. The first was a joy. The landscapes and the serenity are a joy for any naturalist. However, after my second trip to the islands to write a piece about the annual grindadrap, my memories became tarnished. Although tradition and sensible once upon a time, I do not see justification in these killings today, especially given the danger to human health from the consumption of whale meet.

    Anyways, I cannot recommend a trip to the Faroe Islands without a visit to Denmark. In that respect, why not take the wonderful voyage by ferry?

  22. I am not sure why anyone would compare the Faroe Islands with Reykjavik…

    A point of comparison would the Icelandic highlands, the Western Peninsula, the Western Fjords or the Northern Lands – all of these are spectacular and much more impressive than the tourist-laden southern areas of Iceland.

    The Faroe Islands and Iceland are both beautiful and wonderful natural exhibits. The comparison between the two are nonsense. If people consider Reykjavik and the Golden Circle the epitome of Iceland, they clearly wasted money on that trip to Iceland….

  23. @Emily
    While I will admit the northern parts (Akureyi area) are much better than Reykjavik, I much prefer the Faroes. (I’ve been to all 3 places) I’m assuming most people don’t want to drive the 7 hours from the airport, so I used Reykjavik as the main focus of my comparison of the two.

  24. It’s nice to see such passion expressed about that corner of our globe we call the Faroe Islands. Beyond the projections of “I saw her first” ; “not in my backyard” ; and “I’m more virtuous than you” sits a magical place that has positively affected all who have visited or lived. This is not only a testament to Mother Nature’s handiwork but the generations of people who have developed and maintained hygge amidst a stoic environment. I hope today’s citizens see tourists as a gift and the tourists show Immense respect for the generous spirit of the Faroese people. Thank You Atlantic Airways for bringing us closer together.

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