US tourists and business people seeking access to Greenland can look forward to direct flights to the island, Air Greenland announced.
Starting in May 2007, a Boeing 757 will depart from Greenland once a week and land at Thurgood Marshall Airport in the state of Maryland, Per Karlsmose, sales manager at Air Greenland, told the Maryland newspaper, The Capital.
Service will initially only be provided between May and September, but that could change if the route proves popular.
In the past, North American passengers seeking access to Greenland have had to pass through Iceland or Denmark to reach the northern island.
Thurgood Marshall Airport's location on the eastern seaboard of the US provided ideal access, said Karlsmose.
'Baltimore, with its hinterland including New York, Washington and Philadelphia, is very attractive to us,' Mr. Karlsmose told The Capital. 'We also know that Americans seek peaceful places with no terror threat, and Greenland is the spot for that.'
Establishing a direct connection to the US to promote tourism and investment had been a longstanding wish of the Greenland Home Rule and the airline itself.
'Customers are already very interested in opening Greenland to tourists from the west,' said Flemming Knudsen, the president of Air Greenland. 'We will now start on the practical work with establishing, and not least marketing the new route to tour operators in North America. The route will also open up for new tourist destinations for the people of Greenland and provide opportunities for businesses.'
Some 30,000 tourists visit the island every year, reported The Capital, with 90 percent of them coming from Denmark and the remaining share coming mostly from elsewhere in Europe.