Increased comfort


Up until this time, airline passengers had to put up with a great deal of discomfort. Aeroplanes took a long time to get from one country to the next for two reasons. They flew much slower than modern planes, and much lower, because of pressure differences.

Travel was sometimes physically difficult, even painful. It was almost impossible to fly above weather or winds. But all this changed when Icelandair bought two Vickers Viscount 759 turboprop airliners. This purchase generated a lot of interest; it was a big step for the Icelandic aviation industry.

They were the first Icelandic aircraft to be powered by turbines, and they had pressurised passenger space. This allowed them to fly at heights of up to 25,000 feet; the old Skymaster was restricted to 10,000 feet unless those on board used oxygen masks. The Viscounts also flew considerably faster than the Skymasters. Their arrival made it possible to fly to Europe and back in one day. The flying time to Copenhagen was cut by two hours, to four and a half hours. It was understandable that Icelanders celebrated acquiring these splendid aircraft.