Icelandair is gearing up to steal the world’s ‘worst flight’ award from Lufthansa, by operating a Q400 turboprop aircraft to Manchester.
Originally reported by Airline Routes via Twitter, the Dash-8 Q400 will be used twice weekly from the middle of next month until September, serving both Manchester and Dublin.
Icelandair is planning Dash8-Q400 (Air Iceland Connect aircraft) service for Manchester and Dublin, twice weekly each from 15JUL19 to 14SEP19. The airline is also leasing Airbus A319 aircraft for flights in July/August 2019 to Paris CDG, Hamburg, Manchester and Oslo (and others)Advertisement
— Airlineroute (@Airlineroute) June 23, 2019Advertisement
What are the details?
Icelandair is planning to use leased Bombardier Dash-8 Q400s to open up new routes to both Dublin and Manchester.
These routes will be operational twice a week, and are designed to increase capacity for the summer season. Running from 15th July until 14th September, the carrier is clearly targeting the holiday crowd.
They will specifically be using Air Iceland Connect aircraft, a subsidiary of the main Icelandic airline. The Q400 in service is normally used for routes to outlying islands, as well as to other areas in Iceland. They have three Q400s in their fleet currently.
Is it a bad flight?
Previously, we discussed how a Boeing 737 being used on a 17 hour flight is pretty bad. But a Q400 over this distance, how does it compare?
There are around 70 seats on a normally configured Q400, with two small bathrooms. They are in a 2 – 2 configuration, with no premium seating (and 32 inches of pitch on these economy seats). There is no entertainment, no in-seat power, no modern jet-aircraft humidity control and a very small tray table.
The flying time between Manchester Airport (MAN) and Keflavík International Airport (KEF) is around three hours, according to Google Flights. This is for both the current Boeing 767 service and the Q400. However, the Q400 is around 150 km/h slower than a normal jet aircraft, so in reality, it will probably take around 30 minutes longer.
The Bombardier is quite a small aircraft with very loud (and vibrating) turboprop engines, at least compared to a jet aircraft.
Plus, the journey will take place almost entirely over the deep North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, where frequent storms will shake the poor Q400 to its rivets. With a lower operating attitude than a normal jet aircraft (27,000 ft / 8229 m for the Q400 vs the 41,000 ft / 12,500 m of a 737) the aircraft will be more susceptible to weather and turbulence.
What has been the internet’s reaction?
The internet’s reaction has been quite shocking, with many saying they would not even consider going anywhere near these flights.
Absolute NIGHTMARE. WOW. That would be a HARD PASS on those flights.
— Shades of Blue (@greenstflyer) June 24, 2019
Others questioned the point of these new flights.
for a country that has admitted that over-tourism has destroyed many parts of the country, odd they’d be opening more flights/routes
— Sean Mulkeen (@Mulkeen) June 24, 2019
The deployment of these small aircraft is related to the current grounding of the 737 MAX and of course is only temporary.
What do you think? Will you fly on these aircraft on these routes?