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Traffic at Iceland’s Keflavik airport has grown substantially over the past nine years – with up to 10 million passengers anticipated this year – prompting an upgrade. 

A US$1bn (R12bn) investment over the next seven to eight years is expected as the airport prepares to make itself a travel hub between Europe and the US. 

Both Icelandair and low-cost carrier Wow Air have opened routes to North America, and a number of American carriers such as Delta, United, and American Airlines will soon start operating to Keflavik. 

Bjorn Oli Hauksson, md of ISAVIA, the state-owned company that operates all Iceland’s airports, says it will need the help of foreign investors as it grows. “It is simply a question of when in the next three to four years we will give the signal for the biggest step, which will be a new finger for Keflavik,” he says. 

The area surrounding Keflavik airport allows for mass expansion, which could extend up to Reykjavik 30 kilometres away. 

Keflavik is an integral part of Iceland’s tourism boom, which has played a vital part in helping resurrect the country after the worldwide recession in 2008. Haukssom says the airport is also flagged to develop as a cargo airport, over and above being a hub for travellers from Europe to North America. 

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