Tuesday, October 2, 2012

40th Anniversary of ICELAND Air Post

This cover and the stamps on it commemorate 40 Years of Iceland Air Post. Thank you Maria for this FDC.

Icelandair traces its roots back to 1937, when Flugfélag Akureyrar was founded in Akuryei on the north coast of Iceland. Flight operations started in 1938 with a single floatplane of the type Waco YKS-7. In 1939 the airline had to be grounded when the aircraft was destroyed in a capsizing accident. The company moved to Reykjavik, were it acquired another Waco aircraft and was re-launched in 1940 as Flugfélag Íslands, which translates asFlight Company of Iceland. Previously, two unrelated airlines of the same name had existed in the country (from 1919 to 1920, and between 1928 and 1931).
 For international purposes, the name Iceland Airways was adopted. The fleet was expanded with a Beechcraft Model 18 in 1942, and with two de Havilland Dragon Rapide as well as one U.S.-made Consolidated PBY Catalina in 1944, the latter being the first ever aircraft registered in Iceland to be flown to Iceland by an Icelandic crew from North America. On 11 July 1945, this aircraft operated the first commercial flight over the Atlantic Ocean for the airline, which led from Reykjavík to Largs in Scotland with four passengers and four crew members on board. Regular flights to Prestwick Airport, Scotland and Copenhagen in Denmark, using B-24 Liberator aircraft leased from Scottish Airlines were launched in 1946.

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