Atlantic Airways is the national airline of the Faroe Islands, operating domestic helicopter services and international passenger services as well as search and rescue responsibilities from its base at Vágar Airport, on the Faroese island of Vágar.
As a result, Atlantic Airways was established in 1987, initially between the Faroese Government (51%) and Danish airline Cimber Air (49%), though the Faroese government would assume full ownership in 1989. Flights commenced between Vágar and Copenhagen on 28 March 1988 using a British Aerospace BAe 146. A hangar was built at Vágar by the Faroese government in order to secure Atlantic Airways' home base in the Faroes, ensuring maintenance facilities were available on the islands.
The aim of the new airline company, which many predicted would have a short life, was to build up a Faroese aviation industry on a commercial basis and to ensure the Faroe Islands a good, up-to-date air connection with the outside world. Furthermore, the company aimed to improve the existing level of service. Flight crews and management were Faroese.
Though load factors were high and the new service was popular, Atlantic Airways had a turbulent beginning economically. The Faroe Islands suffered a severe economic depression in the early 1990s, and at its nadir in 1992, the Faroese government delivered 75 m DKK in aid to the ailing carrier. Atlantic Airways would not break into profit until 1995.
Flights were launched to Reykjavík in 1995 in co-operation with Air Iceland, and also to Narsarsuaq in Greenland in the summer months, in co-operation with Air Iceland. The latter half of the 1990s saw Billund in Denmark and Aberdeen in the UK added to Atlantic Airways' flight schedule.
The growing list of destinations and passenger numbers, together with the stabilisation of the airline's finances, saw a second BAe 146 added to the fleet in 2000. This new aircraft meant services to London (Stansted) in the UK and the Norwegian capital Oslo added to the network. Growth in tourism on the islands has also enabled flights to Aalborg, Stavanger, Stord and Edinburgh. However, for the 2006 season services to Stord have been discontinued, and Edinburgh replaced by the Shetland Islands. Atlantic Airways also entered the UK domestic market in 2006, becoming the only carrier to offer a direct service between Shetland and London, which it does on a twice weekly basis.
Atlantic Airways also operates a comprehensive domestic service by helicopter, in many instances a vital connection to many of the islands, which otherwise can only be reached by sea. The helicopter has proved a vital tool on the islands since the 1960s, when helicopters from Danish coast guard vessels patrolling the Faroes undertook a variety of tasks, including ferrying equipment and supplies between the islands. The government hired a helicopter in 1978 for these tasks, but in the 1980s a commercial public helicopter service was launched linking each of the islands using two Bell Helicopter Textron aircraft.
Initially, the helicopter service was a standalone company, SL Helicopters, but the decision to concentrate Faroese aviation into one firm led the helicopter department becoming part of Atlantic Airways in 1994. The helicopters provide a round trip 'hopper' service to each of the islands, which is also ideal for tourists looking for aerial views. At all time, the company is required to have at least one helicopter, operational and ready for search and rescue duties.
Over the last 5 years, Atlantic Airways has produced profits of between 8 and 13 million DKK. The company has increased its turnover greatly from approximately 120 million in 1998 to around 520 million DKK in 2006. Atlantic Airways employs 177 people (at January 2007).
Atlantic Airways was listed at the Iceland Stock Exchange December 10th. 2007 The Faroese government has decided on a privatisation process and has sold off 33% of the company in the first bidding round. First day of trading was December 10th. 2007 The government is planning to sell off 33% more in 2008
In October 2007, Atlantic Airways picked up former United States President Bill Clinton at Keflavík Airport and flew him to Faroe Islands, where Mr. Clinton and Mr. Hans Blix were speakers at an event organised by Faroe Islands Industry. After the event, Atlantic Airways flew Mr. Clinton to Copenhagen.
In Summer 2008, Atlantic Airways will operate scheduled passenger flights between Vágar Airport and the following destinations..
|Denmark||Aalborg||Aalborg Airport||4x weekly|
|Billund||Billund Airport||9x weekly||Winter service 2x weekly|
|Copenhagen||Copenhagen International - Kastrup||Up to 6x daily|
|Iceland||Reykjavík||Reykjavík Airport||3x weekly|
|Norway||Stavanger||Sola Airport||2x weekly|
|Sweden||Stockholm||Stockholm-Arlanda Airport||2x weekly|
|Greenland||Narsarsuaq||Narsarsuaq Airport||2x weekly|
|United Kingdom||London||Stansted Airport||2x weekly|
|Aberdeen||Aberdeen Airport||2x weekly|
|Shetland||Sumburgh Airport||3x weekly|
Domestic helicopter service (current as of July 2007)
|12:00 Vágar Airport||08:00 Vágar Airport||09:45 Vágar Airport||09:45 Vágar Airport|
|12:11 Mykines||08:07 Koltur||09:56 Mykines||09:56 Mykines|
|12:22 Vágar Airport||08:12 Tórshavn||10:07 Vágar Airport||10:07 Vágar Airport|
|13:07 Koltur||08:32 Dímun||11:00 Vágar Airport||11:10 Vágar Airport|
|13:12 Tórshavn||08:41 Froðba||11:07 Koltur||11:17 Koltur|
|13:27 Skúvoy||-||11:22 Tórshavn||11:22 Tórshavn|
|13:32 Dímun||09:00 Froðba||11:37 Skúvoy||11:34 Klaksvík|
|13:37 Skúvoy||09:09 Dímun||11:42 Dímun||11:46 Svínoy|
|13:52 Tórshavn||09:14 Skúvoy||11:51 Froðba||11:50 Kirkja|
|14:04 Klaksvík||09:29 Tórshavn||-||11:53 Hattarvík|
|-||09:41 Klaksvík||12:35 Froðba||12:11 Klaksvík|
|14:35 Klaksvík||09:53 Svínoy||12:44 Dímun||-|
|14:47 Svínoy||09:57 Kirkja||12:49 Skúvoy||13:00 Klaksvík|
|14:51 Kirkja||10:00 Hattarvík||13:04 Tórshavn||13:12 Tórshavn|
|14:54 Hattarvík||10:18 Klaksvík||13:16 Klaksvík||13:27 Skúvoy|
|15:12 Klaksvík||-||13:28 Svínoy||13:32 Dímun|
|15:24 Tórshavn||10:45 Klaksvík||13:32 Kirkja||13:41 Froðba|
|15:29 Koltur||10:57 Tórshavn||13:35 Hattarvík||-|
|15:36 Vágar Airport||11:02 Koltur||13:53 Klaksvík||14:15 Froðba|
|11:09 Vágar Airport||-||14:24 Froðba|
|-||14:40 Klaksvík||14:29 Skúvoy|
|11:21 Vágar Airport||14:52 Tórshavn||14:44 Tórshavn|
|11:32 Mykines||14:57 Koltur||14:49 Koltur|
|11:43 Vágar Airport||15:04 Vágar Airport||14:56 Vágar Airport|
|15:30 Vágar Airport|
|15:52 Vágar Airport|
Fleet consists of the following aircraft (at December 2007)
|BAe 146-200||3||OY-RCA, OY-RCB, OY-RCW|
|Avro RJ100||2||OY-RCC, OY-FJE|
|Avro RJ85||2||OY-RCD, OY-RCE|
|Bell 412EP||2||OY-HSR, OY-HSJ|
Atlantic has also placed an order for 1 Airbus A319 with 1 option. Atlantic Airways sold and leased back one of the Avro RJ85 on the 6. of october 2008. By 6. of october Atlantic Airways is leasing 3 aircrafts and owes 4..
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