Atlantic Airways is the national carrier of the Faroe Islands, and Vágar airport (FAE) is their main “hub” (although with three aircraft plus a couple helicopters, it’s pretty low-key). They fly daily to Copenhagen year-round, and they have been expanding their route network in the past couple years, with flights to Reykjavik, Bergen (Norway), Edinburgh, Aalborg and Billund (Denmark) as well as some intriguing seasonal routes to places like Malta or Lisbon. When booking on their website (www.atlantic.fo), you can choose from three fare buckets: Low, Flex, and Flex+. Refreshingly, all three categories offer more service than you get from most European carriers. For instance, Low fares included a checked bag and drink service, and Flex+ fares offer fast track security and lounge access in addition to being fully refundable.
Low fares are usually pretty cheap, and it’s possible to fly each way for under $100 if you book in advance (seat selection costs around $10 if you don’t want to wait until check-in). For schedule reasons, I picked Atlantic on the outbound and SAS on the return, and Atlantic ended up being considerably cheaper, even with the seat selection fee.
Back in the day, Atlantic flew Avro regional jets, but they’ve upgraded since then and fly all routes on one of their three A319/320s. My flight was changed at the last minute to the A320, which is the newest addition to the fleet. I’m not sure what the reason for the change was, since the A319 originally scheduled arrived in Copenhagen in time for the flight. There must have been a mechanical issue or something, since we ended up being delayed for a couple hours while the new plane was fueled up and de-iced.
The interior is in an all-economy configuration with Recaro slimline seats. I’m not sure the exact pitch, but it’s probably around 30 inches. For a two hour flight, these seats are perfectly comfortable, but throw in a 90-minute ground delay and my butt was starting to get pretty sore. The only interesting amenity at the seat is the tablet holder, which I photographed holding the safety card, since it doesn’t fit an iPad Pro.
Here are some pictures of the cabin:
Once the plane was splattered with orange de-icing goop, we were ready for takeoff.
Service on Atlantic airways isn’t anything special — the flight attendants were polite, but in a one-class plane, there’s only so much you can do. Still, I appreciated that they made a few passes through the cabin during the flight, first with a drink cart and then a couple more times with coffee. While soft drinks are free, there’s also a farily extensive buy-on-board menu, and because I know how much you care, I photographed every page. I think it’s funny that I didn’t bother to do this on my fancy KLM business-class flight, but that’s just how I roll.
I don’t really know what else to say about the flight, since it was a fairly routine two hour hop. Of course, the highlight of flying into the Faroe Islands is the descent, and we got lucky on this flight, flying the “waterfall” approach past the iconic waterfall at Gásadalur. Shortly before we started descending, the captain provided an update about the local conditions, since they change so often. He said to expect light turbulence on the descent, which was nice, since the last time I flew this route, we had some of the roughest turbulence I’ve ever experienced.
The Faroes have had a fair amount of snow this winter and are especially scenic right now, so I made a video of the descent that does a pretty good job showing how cool it is to fly into Vágar. I was hoping to capture some roller-coaster bumps for posterity, but it ended up being pretty smooth outside of a couple jolts when we began the final approach.
Right as the plane lands, you can see the SAS A320 that’s getting ready to fly back to Copenhagen. In a few days, I’ll be on that flight, and then I’ll be able to post a comparison between the two.
Has anyone else flown Atlantic Airways? Tell me if I left out any important details. The bottom line is that Atlantic is perfectly comfortable, offers a comparatively high level of service at a low price, and most importantly, it gets you to the Faroe Islands, which is an amazing destination.