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Icelandair Sees Over 20% Rise in Passenger Traffic in 2023

The airline recovery continues, and Icelandair is not to be left out. Recent traffic data published by Iceland’s flagship reveals an over 20% increase in the number of passengers to date. But what’s the breakdown?

Icelandair Places First-Ever Airbus order of 13 A321XLRs
Icelandair Places First-Ever Airbus order of 13 A321XLRs. Source: Airbus

Icelandair By the Numbers:

  • August 2023: 547 thousand passengers chose Icelandair for their travels.
  • January-August 2023: Approximately three million passengers have flown with the airline through August this year. That’s 21% more than the same period in 2022.
  • Peak Travel Months (June, July, August): Historically, Northern Summer brings the most passenger traffic for airlines in the hemisphere. In 2023, Icelandair had a warm summer, serving a total of 1.6 million passengers.

Iceland Air Passengers in August by Destination:

  • Traveling to Iceland: 249 thousand
  • Departing from Iceland: 51 thousand
  • Via passengers (transit): 223 thousand
  • Domestic passengers: 25 thousand

Icelandair KPIs in August

Other indicators of Icelandair’s performance show a load factor of 83.9% and an on-time performance of 78.9%. Additionally, their sold block hours in leasing saw an 18% increase from last year. Notably, the increase in Freight Tonne Kilometers surged by 43%.

A Word from the Helm – Bogi Nils Bogason, Icelandair CEO:

“We are happy to see continued growth between years and our passenger numbers are getting closer to what they were in 2019. The North American markets continue to show the strongest performance and in that light it is interesting to remember how it all started. In August, we celebrated an important milestone – 75 years since our first flight to the USA. At that time we operated six flights a month to New York and Chicago and the flight time was more than fourteen hours. Today, we have up to 600 direct flights a month to 15 destinations in North America, more than all the other Nordic airports combined.

“This winter we will continue innovating by offering double daily flights most days of the week to Boston and New York. Our winter schedule is more extensive than ever, with a number of destinations, such as Baltimore, Raleigh-Durham, Rome and Vancouver, becoming full year destinations. We are also excited to connect Akureyri in the North of Iceland to our European network through Keflavik during this fall. The international connection will be operated for five weeks and will offer smooth connections to and from North Iceland.”

Recent Management Changes

Icelandair recently announced key strategic changes to its management structure, focusing on performance, commercial competitiveness, and increasing the focus on the customer.

The airline has merged its Customer and Revenue divisions, creating a consolidated Commercial division. This new alignment puts passenger experience first while improving Icelandair’s revenue-generating capabilities.

This consolidation results in a shift of roles and responsibilities.

  • Tómas Ingason steps up as the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). 
  • Sylvía Kristín Ólafsdóttir transitions from the role of Chief Customer Officer to Chief Operating Officer (COO). 
  • Jens Bjarnason, formerly the COO, will assume a role as Senior Advisor, reporting directly to the CEO.

CEO Bogi Nils Bogason said of the management changes: “These changes are a part of our journey to drive performance while we realize our ambitious plans and seize the opportunities we see in our markets going forward.” 

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