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New service to Iceland will provide huge boost for New York-Stewart


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) today announced that low-cost carrier PLAY is to launch daily international flights to Iceland from Stewart International Airport.

It notes that the service to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, will launch in June and be a major step ahead in the Port Authority’s efforts to expand air service and passenger travel options at Stewart post-pandemic.

The Icelandic airline becomes the third carrier to offer flights from New York Stewart. In October 2021, Frontier Airlines began services to three Florida destinations from the gateway, while Allegiant Air currently serves five domestic markets with non-stop flights from the airport.

PLAY CEO, Birgir Jónsson, stated that Stewart provides a convenient location for New Yorkers and gives incoming European travellers access to local attractions and Manhattan.

In 2019, just before the pandemic, PANYNJ introduced a five-point strategic plan for facility growth and expansion and has been actively engaged with numerous potential airline partners, including PLAY.

The strategy includes modernising the air carrier incentive program to attract and retain carriers, partnering with regional and state agencies to grow airport business and drive local economic activity, and entering into an agreement with a best-in-class airport operator – Future Stewart Partners – to oversee operations.

“This is a significant development for New York Stewart International Airport and the region and customers it serves,” announced PANYNJ’s executive director, Rick Cotton.

“The addition of PLAY’s international service is important in realising our post-pandemic vision for New York Stewart as a leading regional provider of both international and domestic air service and as a generator of strong economic growth.”

While Port Authority chairman, Kevin O’Toole, noted: “New York Stewart offers a low-cost, hassle-free and convenient way to travel.

“It is a practical and efficient alternative gateway for travellers to the Metro New York-New Jersey region. Our commitment to world-class customer service at all of our airports is strengthened by the addition of partners such as PLAY.”

PLAY will be the first airline to utilise the airport’s new $37 million, 20,000-square-foot arrivals facility. The airline is expected to offer tickets costing as little as $109 one way between airports.  

Currently, Allegiant offers non-stop air service to Myrtle Beach, Orlando-Sanford, Punta Gorda, Savannah and St Pete-Clearwater, showing steady growth in its scheduling of flights. Frontier Airlines operates flights to Orlando International Airport four times a week, as well as flights to Fort Lauderdale and Tampa three times a week.

Express bus service between New York Stewart and the Midtown Bus Terminal in Manhattan will relaunch as a result of these new flights and schedules, which will be bookable online in advance or at the airport with bus schedules will be timed to match the arrival and departure of PLAY’s flights.

According to PANYNJ, the travel time to/from New York City is roughly 75 minutes.

The Port Authority’s partnership with Future Stewart Partners, a joint venture between Avports and global airport operator Groupe ADP, has increased the airport’s visibility with domestic and international air carriers and brought added expertise in the expansion and retention of new air service.

This partnership, it notes, includes a renewed concessions programme at the airport’s passenger terminal.

The Port Authority completed construction of the new Customs and Immigration facility in November 2020. With the newly expanded terminal, New York Stewart offers shorter lines and less waiting at security and customs areas. In addition, parking fees have been lowered and the airport has added fast, free Wi-Fi service.

New York Stewart contributes $145 million in economic activity to the region and supports more than 800 jobs and $53 million in annual wages. More than half of the capital projects initiated by the Port Authority have been awarded to local firms and contractors.

To support the goal of driving tourism and economic development throughout the region, the Port Authority has also developed strong local partnerships with key stakeholders in the Hudson Valley’s 10 counties.

Located a little more than an hour north of New York City, New York Stewart is close to top tourist attractions in the region, including the Legoland NY Resort and Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets.

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