Photos of the Week: Fly the Flag

Icelandair 757 livery celebrates Icelandic history, rare national park

By BlueSkyStaff

Published November 6, 2023

Read Time: 2 mins


PIT’s newest carrier is bringing some of its Icelandic heritage to Pittsburgh.

Icelandair, which begins service to PIT next spring, is one of the oldest airlines in the world. Its beginnings date back to the 1937 founding of its predecessor, Flugfélag Akureyrar.

But the traditions of Iceland’s national flag carrier today have roots that go even further back.

Every aircraft in Icelandair’s fleet of 43 Boeing and De Havilland aircraft are named. Not just any names, however: each plane is named after volcanoes or natural wonders in Iceland.

Even more exclusive are Icelandair’s spectacular special livery aircraft that celebrate the Nordic nation’s longstanding history.

One aircraft includes the airline’s newest special livery: a Boeing 757-300 named Þingvellir. Unveiled in 2018, Þingvellir wears the Icelandic flag representing the 100-year anniversary of Iceland receiving full independence after nearly six-and-a-half centuries of Danish and Norwegian rule.

Þingvellir is named for the national park it represents. A UNESCO World Heritage Site located northeast of Reykjavik, it is the ancestral home of Iceland’s Parliament and the nation’s culture, dating back to the 10th century. In 1944, it is where Iceland established itself as a republic and named its first president.

History aside, Þingvellir National Park is a spectacularly beautiful rift valley with plains drifting apart via the shifting of tectonic plates, making it one of the very few places worldwide where visitors can witness this phenomenon on dry land.

The livery also celebrated Iceland’s national men’s football team debuting in the World Cup for the first time in the summer of 2018. Þingvellir’s first flight in its special paint job carried fans to the team’s debut in the tournament in Moscow.

And like the national park it is named after, Þingvellir is also rare, as one of only two 757-300s in Icelandair’s current fleet, according to Connor Ochs was lucky to catch Þingvellir arriving during sundown at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport.

From New York, we hop across the country to San Francisco on the west coast via United Airlines’ nonstop service from PIT to catch one of America’s hallmark attractions, the Golden Gate Bridge, courtesy of Frederick B. Goldsmith.

Thanks for sharing, Connor and Frederick!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming—you can  click here for submission guidelines.

United Airlines flight 2367 from Pittsburgh to San Francisco flies over the Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo submitted by Frederick B. Goldsmith)

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