Category Archives: Icelandair

Icelandair to lease two additional Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Icelandair made this announcement:

Icelandair has entered into agreements with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd (DAE), regarding long-term operating leases of two new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered from Boeing in spring 2022.

This transaction will bring the total number of 737 MAX in the Icelandair fleet up to 14 aircraft for next summer.

Icelandair adds new destinations in Europe


Icelandair today announced the addition of three new destinations to its international network for travel this summer: Rome, Alicante and Nice.

 These new routes provide connections between North America and Iceland to three popular tourist destinations during the busiest travel time of the year. Passengers will also be able to take advantage of a multi-day stopover in Iceland, en route, at no additional airfare.

 The World Heritage city of Rome, Italy, will be served twice a week between Reykjavik (KEF) and Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) on Wednesdays and Sundays beginning July 6, 2022 through September 4, 2022 with same day connections to and from North America.

 The Nice flight will give access to the lively South of France region, operating between Reykjavik (KEF) and Nice Airport (NCE) from July 6, 2022 through August 27, 2022, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Flights to Alicante, Spain (ALC) will begin on February 10, 2022, with flights operating up to twice a week during the summer and into the fall season.

In addition, Icelandair has reinstated flights from Montreal and Vancouver, giving Canadians renewed options to both Iceland and Europe.

Top Copyright Photo: Icelandair Boeing 767-319 ER WL TF-ISN (msn 30586) MUC (Gunter Mayer). Image: 955675.

Finnair aircraft slide show:

Icelandair is coming to Raleigh/Durham

Icelandair announced today new seasonal service from its newest North American gateway: Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (RDU) to Keflavik serving Reykjavik, Iceland. The new route will operate four times a week beginning May 12, 2022, on Tuesday, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays on a 160-seat Boeing 737 MAX 8.

 The new service from RDU provides travelers with easy nonstop connections to more than 25 destinations in Iceland, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Continental Europe and allows passengers to take an Icelandair stopover for seven days at no additional airfare.

JetBlue and Icelandair expand strategic codeshare partnership

JetBlue Airways today announced it is expanding its codeshare with Icelandair – the national carrier of Iceland – to offer customers more ways to book and connect their travel between the two airlines’ networks across Europe and North America.

October 04, 2021 – JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes (left) and Icelandair CEO Bogi Nils Bogason at the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Boston celebrate 10 years of partnership and expansion of codeshare. (Photo: Business Wire) 

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes (left) and Icelandair CEO Bogi Nils Bogason at the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Boston celebrate 10 years of partnership and expansion of codeshare. (Photo: Business Wire)

JetBlue’s current codes on Icelandair offer customers direct flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport, Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS), Newark’s Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in the capital city of Reykjavik. As part of the codeshare expansion, the JetBlue “B6” code will initially be placed on seven of 24 European routes that Icelandair operates beyond Reykjavik. The plan is to add more in the near future. The initial routes are:

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), Netherlands
  • Copenhagen Airport (CPH), Denmark
  • Glasgow Airport (GLA), United Kingdom
  • Helsinki Airport (HEL), Finland
  • Manchester Airport (MAN), United Kingdom
  • Oslo Airport (OSL), Norway
  • Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN), Sweden

This expanded codeshare agreement builds upon JetBlue and Icelandair’s partnership that first began in 2011. Icelandair passengers already benefit from access to a network that spans to 45 destinations in more than 15 countries around the world. This further strengthening of the partnership will allow JetBlue customers to enjoy additional travel options via Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport, Icelandair’s connecting hub.

Icelandair finances its last three Boeing 737 MAX aircraft


Icelandair has entered into agreements with Aviation Capital Group (ACG) regarding the financing of three Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This is a sale and leaseback of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and a finance lease of one Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in December 2021 and January 2022. As previously announced, Icelandair had backstop financing in place for these three aircraft which will not be exercised.

Following this transaction, Icelandair has completed financing of all the twelve 737 MAX aircraft that were originally ordered from Boeing in 2013.

Top Copyright Photo: Icelandair Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 TF-ICN (msn 44356) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 953388.

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

Icelandair reports 2Q net loss of $54.9 million, but strong bookings going forward, happy with the 737 MAX

Icelandair Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 TF-ICY (msn 44354) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 954463.

Icelandair Group reported a net loss of $54.9 million (USD) in the second quarter.


Extensive growth of our flight schedule

15 destinations re-introduced

Weekly flights in June 160 vs 28 in April

Number of full-time employees up by 600 in the quarter

8 aircraft reintroduced from storage and 3 Boeing MAX added

Considerable EBIT impact

Read the full report: PowerPoint Presentation (

The airline continued:

In Q2 Icelandair Group started to ramp up its operations to meet increased demand. The quarter showed strong booking inflow for travel in the second half of the year resulting in net cash from operating activities of USD 65.0 million compared to negative USD 96.8 million in the same quarter last year. The improvement year-on-year was USD 161.8 million. At the end of the quarter total liquidity amounted to USD 362.5 million, thereof cash and marketable securities amounted to USD 190.5 million, increasing by 80.6 million during the quarter.

The Q2 operational results were impacted by the ramp-up of the international route network and COVID-19. During the quarter, 15 destinations were re-introduced to the flight schedule and weekly flights increased from 28 in April to 160 in June. Realizing a positive profit contribution from flights during ramp-up is generally challenging and this year it was further impacted by the pandemic.  The passenger load factor increased steadily throughout the quarter despite the extensive growth in the flight schedule. In addition, the Company invested substantially in operating expenses in preparation for an ambitious flight schedule for the second half of the year to meet the increase in demand. These costs included the reintroduction of aircraft to the fleet after months of storage, the implementation of three new MAX aircraft to the fleet, training of employees returning to duty and increased advertising spend, which in return will generate earnings in later quarters. EBIT for the quarter was negative of 62.2 million USD, an improvement of 35.6 million USD between years. Net loss amounted to USD 54.9 million compared to USD 90.8 million in the previous year.

Cargo revenues were strong in the quarter, up by 35% and freight volumes remain on pre-COVID levels. Outlook for the cargo operations continues to be strong.

Icelandair’s capacity in July will be 43% of the 2019 level compared to 15% in Q2 and the load factor is expected to be around 70% compared to 47% in Q2. Based on the current outlook capacity will increase further in August and load factor will improve from July. However, the final outcome is dependent on how the development of the pandemic and changes in travel restrictions will impact demand.

Bogi Nils Bogason, President and CEO
“The ramp-up has started – we are expanding our operations and increasing the number of flights every week. The second quarter results were still heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and costs incurred in the quarter associated with ramp-up of the network, however, strong booking flow in June for the second half of the year is the main driver for positive cashflow from operations of over USD 65 million. This is a remarkable turnaround from the previous year. We are grateful and honored for the trust that our customers in all our markets show our Company and our brand.

Since the pandemic hit, we have ensured to safeguard our infrastructure and the flexibility to be able to respond quickly to rapid changes in our markets. With this focus, we have been able to successfully manage our route network, increasing our international network capacity five-fold in the second quarter and transporting over four times more passengers than in Q2 last year. Our domestic operation has been strong in the quarter with our capacity reaching 85% of Q2 2019 levels.

As the airline that brings the majority of tourists to Iceland and as an important employer in the country, a successful ramp-up of our operations is vital for Icelandic tourism, the local economy and society at large. We expect to transport over 400 thousand tourists to Iceland this year that we estimate will generate around USD 646 million in export revenue. We are delighted to welcome back many of our great colleagues following extensive recruitment alongside our ramp-up. We expect to have almost 2,100 full time employees on average in 2021 and estimate that the direct contribution of Icelandair Group’s operations to the Icelandic economy in the form of salary, salary-related expenses and pension contributions will amount to around USD 210 million. The indirect contribution is significantly greater, driving economic benefits not only to the local tourism industry but the Icelandic economy as a whole.

We continue to see strong interest in Iceland as a tourist destination and with a significantly improved booking status in our international route network, our flight schedule is ambitious in the second half of the year. However, we continue to face some uncertainty going forward and will use the flexibility of our route network to adjust to the situation as needed at any given time.  We are optimistic that the US will open for European travelers in the third quarter. The demand for cargo transport remains strong and is also increasing for charter flights in the second half of the year, supporting our revenue generation and sustainable future growth of the Company.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank our employees and partners for their dedication, flexibility and teamwork that has been the key to the successful restart of our network in such a short time in very challenging circumstances.”

In other news, Icelandair made this announcement:

Exploring the possibility of electric and hydro powered flight

We are proud to be among the first airlines to explore the possibilities of electric and hydro power. Icelandair has signed Letters of Intent on two exciting projects that aim to decarbonize flying, a goal that could revolutionize the carbon footprint of domestic flight in as little as a few years. The first is with Universal Hydrogen, a company that has designed a hydrogen conversion kit for regional aircraft such as our DASH-8 aircraft. The second project is with Heart Aerospace, which has the goal of electrifying regional air travel.

We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and believe we are in a good position to become one of the world’s first airlines to fully decarbonize our domestic network. Heart Aerospace and Universal Hydrogen have introduced exciting solutions for regional aviation that are expected to be available in a few years. As technology advances, we hope to be able to use the experience from decarbonizing our domestic services to accelerate the implementation of carbon neutral energy to power our international flights.

We have worked with Heart Aerospace for some time and will now start an in-depth analysis with Universal Hydrogen. At the same time, we will start discussions with other stakeholders, such as electricity and hydrogen producers, transport companies and airport operators.


Top Copyright Photo: Icelandair Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 TF-ICY (msn 44354) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 954463.

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

Icelandair returns to MSP

From MSP:

Icelandair will resume service to Iceland from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on June 20, 2021 as international travel from the U.S. continues its recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Icelandair will begin operating four flights weekly on 160-seat Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 aircraft to Keflavik International Airport (KEF), which serves Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. The service will then expand to daily flights on July 16 on 216-seat Boeing 757 aircraft.

Icelandair reduces annual use of disposable plastic by 20 tons

Icelandair has made this announcement:

Icelandair Group’s corporate responsibility strategy puts great emphasis on reducing the airline’s environmental footprint. One of the projects Icelandair is working on now is to greatly reduce the use of Single use plastics onboard. A large step in that direction is the recent decision to minimize the use of bottled water. The airline estimates this change will reduce the use of plastic by up to 20 tons per year, compared to 2019.

Icelandair had planned to make this change in 2020, but it was delayed because of changes in onboard service related to COVID-19 safety measures. In 2019, Icelandair passengers used 1.6 million bottles of water. Icelandair is still committed to offering excellent service, and passengers will of course be offered water, free of charge.

This is one of many projects Icelandair is working on towards a greener and more sustainable future. Icelandair Group’s corporate responsibility strategy is based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The company has focus on four of the UN‘s Sustainable Development Goals; Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12), Climate Action (Goal 13), Gender Equality (Goal 5), and Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8).

Icelandair returns to Portland

Icelandair has made this announcement:

Icelandair has announced the long awaited return to Portland, Oregon with seasonal flights scheduled on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Portland International Airport starting on July 2, 2021. Nonstop service to Iceland will operate through October 31, 2021 with convenient connections to the hottest destinations in Europe. Flights and schedules are subject to COVID/border regulation and inflow development.

This news comes alongside the announcement that all passengers who can verify full vaccination against COVID-19 will be allowed to travel to Iceland without being subject to additional border measures, such as testing and quarantine. Icelandic customs authorities will accept vaccination certificates from Schengen countries or the World Health Organization’s “yellow card,” as well as, confirmation from travelers who can produce antibody tests showing prior infection.

This development makes Iceland one of the first European nations to open its borders beyond the Schengen area, which covers 26 countries, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Icelandair aircraft photo gallery:

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

Air Iceland Connect will be merged into Icelandair

Icelandair has made this announcement:

Starting on March 16, 2021 Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect, Icelandair Group’s domestic airline operations, will be integrated into one network with all sales and marketing efforts operating under the Icelandair brand.

The integration of Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect will strengthen and simplify the company’s operations while ensuring a sustainable future for domestic services as well as the West Nordic region.

One strong brand, a simplified booking process and unified distribution systems will allow Icelandair to offer a comprehensive range of products and services to all destinations – domestic and international – in one place, with one search, on one ticket.

Icelandair’s domestic destinations include Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Ísafjörður, and Vestmannaeyjar. Air Iceland Connect and Norlandair have collaborated on flights to several additional destinations in Iceland, such as Bíldudalur and Gjögur from Reykjavík airport, and Grímsey, Vopnafjörður and Þórshöfn from Akureyri airport.

Icelandair is not planning any changes at this time for passengers traveling from Reykjavik or Akureyri. However, new products and services are in development and will be introduced later this spring (2021).

Photos: Air Iceland Connect.

 Bogi Nils Bogason, CEO of Icelandair

“The integration of Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect is an important step that will create a stronger and more streamlined airline with more options and improved customer service. Domestic flights are crucial for Icelanders and with this step we can further strengthen our current network for all passengers with more accessibility and more competitive fares.

This is, however, a complex project with many integral details. That’s why we put great emphasis on clear communication with customers and open dialogue with key stakeholders about how we will ensure the development of domestic flights with the value and experience of our customers in mind.

As our domestic flights become more visible through Icelandair’s booking engines, we hope to open more of Iceland to the world with easy connections to our network in Europe and North America while increasing the number of tourist within our domestic operations.”