Flight of the Valkyrie; The Inaugural Flybe Birmingham to Reykjavik Flight

Guest post by Alison Bailey

Just occasionally life throws up a true once in a lifetime opportunity; on June 29th 2014, the inaugural Flybe flight from Birmingham to Reykjavík was such an experience. I’d been offered a seat, giving me the chance to see a little of Iceland. I was to spend three days there, and was really looking forward to exploring the North Atlantic adventure playground for the first time.

Birmingham International Airport waiting to take the inaugural Flybe flight to Reykjavik, Iceland on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography

Birmingham raring to go

Arriving at Birmingham International Airport in plenty of time, having never flown from there before I was pleasantly surprised. I understand that, for the seasoned traveller, the airport is simply a means to an end, however Birmingham is a pleasure to travel through, and actually lends itself to the experience. The airport has a single terminal, with well laid out facilities, good signposting, parking is easy, and everything is close by. Simply a good start to any trip.

Flybe plane at Birmingham International Airport waiting to take the inaugural flight to Reykjavik, Iceland on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography flybe_plane

Our Flybe viking plane

As the sun began to set in Birmingham we boarded our plane bound for Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavík, some 2 ½ hours away, we even took off on time.

Setting sun at Birmingham International Airport while waiting to take the inaugural Flybe flight to Reykjavik, Iceland on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography

Getting dark in Birmingham

An unusual aspect of the timing of this flight is that due to the direction of travel, the plane travels into the light. Leaving Birmingham at 9.30pm it was nearly dark, but as we progressed, it actually got lighter, arriving in Iceland to find almost full daylight.

Arriving in daylight at Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavik, Iceland on the inaugural Flybe flight from Birmingham on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography

Landing in daylight at Keflavik International Airport

We were ceremonially welcomed to the airport by waiting fire trucks, which sprayed our plane with an arch of water.

Arriving at Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavik, Iceland on the inaugural Flybe flight from Birmingham  to be welcomed by water spraying fire engines on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography

A two fire engine water cannon salute

Thanks to our flight crew for a very pleasant flight. Flybe, known as a no frills, budget airline, but the standard of service was well up to expected standards, and levels of comfort. We were even treated to a glass of champagne after take-off, but as it was the inaugural flight, don’t expect it on future journeys.

The flight crew of the Flybe plane from Birmingham International Airport on the inaugural flight to Reykjavik, Iceland on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography flight_crew

Captain and First Officer

We were formally welcomed by the UK Ambassador to Iceland, His Excellency Mr Stuart Gill, again it’s unlikely he’ll be a regular in arrivals.

His Excellency Mr Stuart Gill, UK Ambassador to Iceland welcoming the inaugural Flybe Birmingham to Reykjavik flight on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography uk_ambassador

An ambassadorial welcome

We were also joined on the flight by Fred Kochak, Flybe’s routes director who told us that the airline was the first to offer flights between these two cities. He certainly seemed delighted by the enthusiastic welcome that Flybe received in the city. I later asked Fred, over a glass of wine “Why Reykjavik?” to which he replied “It’s such a cool place!” Indeed Fred, after three days exploring, and discovering it’s many attractions, it’s hard to argue with that summation.

Alison Bailey on the coast to coast bike ride in the United Kingdom

170 Miles Coast to Coast

About Alison Bailey

I started as a photographer at the tender age of three when my Dad gave me my first camera, a Kodak Brownie. I crawled around ‘taking pictures’ of everything, even though there wasn’t any film, and I’ve been taking pictures ever since.

I’ve worked as a Lab Technician specialising in Pathology to the promised land of Olympus cameras, and even a spell in law enforcement. I’ve returned to my first love now however, specialising in wedding photography. I predominantly use digital today, but the traditionalist in me still loves film, and the skills required to develop it.

* All photography by Alison Bailey, © Copyright of BaileyPhotography 2014

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