DENVER (AP/CBS4) – A delegation of Colorado business and community leaders is spending time in Iceland to explore economic development opportunities there.

The trip comes as Icelandair prepares to launch flights connecting Denver and Reykjavik, Iceland, on Thursday.

The city of Denver says the new service is estimated to generate nearly 300 jobs and $28 million in annual economic impacts to the state.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday was part of a Colorado delegation to Iceland that included members of the Denver City Council, VISIT Denver, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., Colorado Ski Country USA, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and Office of Tourism.

“Today is an exciting day as we open Denver’s doors to new, international relationships with great partners like Iceland,” Hancock said in a statement. “Growing our international air service will not only expand the list of destinations available to travelers, but will also play an important role in boosting the local economy and expanding our tourism reach.”

A delegation of Icelandic business and community leaders plans to return to Denver with the Colorado representatives for a similar itinerary.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



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