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Denver City Council Approves Icelandair Incentives

An Icelandair Boeing 757
An Icelandair Boeing 757

The Denver City Council voted Monday night to approve two financial incentives for Icelandair, which will begin flights to Denver International Airport in May.

The first of two incentives approved on a 12 to 1 vote, will reimburse Icelandair up to 1.5 million dollars to cover promoting the trans-Atlantic flight to Reykjavik.

The second will provide the airline around $500,000 in credit for costs such as landing fees for flying into and out of Denver.

Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz was the only dissenting vote. She says airlines should be lured to Denver without things like incentives.

“I’ve dealt with economic development justifications for incentives for many years, and largely find them to be works of fiction. They’re over stated cases of wishful thinking.”

Councilwoman At-Large Debra Ortega voted to approve the measures in committee, but had concerns about future negotiations with new airlines looking to land at DIA.

“Does this now set a precedent with other airlines and other countries to expect that we’re going to have incentives that we’re going to put on the table to entice them to come here?”

The two year incentives could help the city plan for future flights including a trans-Pacific All Nipponroute from Tokyo to Denver - something Mayor Michal Hancock has placed as a high priority for his administration.

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