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The Faroe Islands, which have recently caught the eye of travel bloggers and adventurous travelers as tourism to the islands expands, are about to become way more accessible in 2019. According to OneMileAtATime, Atlantic Airways, the primary airline for the self-governing archipelago, has filed paperwork with the US Department of Transportation for the rights to fly between New York City. The filing is dated December 14th, with Atlantic Airways requesting the rights to fly between the Faroe Islands and the New York area as soon as next summer.

The Faroe Islands are situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, located 200 miles northwest of Scotland and sit roughly halfway between Norway and Iceland. Home to just 51,000 full-time residents, the Faroe Islands are officially part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroe Islands are relatively small, covering just 540 square miles, but are home to beautiful sweeping cliffs, fantastic hiking trails and historic villages.

Kirkjubøur and Koltur at Foaroe Islands (Image by Posnov/Getty Images)
Kirkjubøur and Koltur at Faroe Islands (Image by Posnov/Getty Images)

Though travel to the nation is desirable, it is still fairly inaccessible. As of December 15th, the only way someone from the United States can directly access the Faroe Islands using a single itinerary is by flying on a combination of Star Alliance airlines such as United and SAS with a stop in Copenhagen. The least expensive round-trip ticket between New York City in the middle of winter costs $572.

However, flights are quite limited, especially from secondary US cities. The only three airlines serving the Faroe Islands (FAE) are Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Atlantic Airways and Atlantic Airways Helicopter. Atlantic Airways, as the main carrier for the Faroe Islands, serves by far the most destinations, including cities like Bergen/Oslo (BER), Copenhagen (CPH), and Reykjavik (KEF), with seasonal service to Portugal, Spain and Scotland. The airline operates a fleet of just three aircraft: two Airbus a319-100s and one Airbus a320-200. However, the airline is expected to take delivery of its fourth aircraft, an Airbus a320neo, in March 2019. This aircraft will allow the airline to fly nonstop between destinations in the US and the islands.

Atlantic Airways Airbus a320 (Image via Atlantic Airways)
Atlantic Airways Airbus a320 (Image via Atlantic Airways)

While this is certainly exciting news, it by no means guarantees the commencement of nonstop flights between the United States and the Faroe Islands. Not only does the US Department of Transportation have to grant access to Atlantic Airways, but the airline must also take delivery of its Airbus a320neo in a timely manner. There are a slew of issues that could hinder a small airline like Atlantic Airways from successfully launching a nonstop flight to the US, including government red tape, maintenance issues and crew scheduling. Nonetheless, Atlantic Airways has set its target date as late summer 2019 for nonstop flights to the United States via New York City.

H/T: OneMileAtATime

Feature image by Atlantic Airways

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