Tag Archives: Icelandair

Icelandair adjusts its schedule due to MAX 8 grounding, will drop Cleveland and Halifax

Icelandair has made this announcement:

Icelandair’s flight schedule has been updated based on the assumption that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will be suspended until June 16, 2019. The decision to add wet-leased aircraft to the fleet has reduced the impact of the suspension on Icelandair‘s flight schedule. As announced on April 1, 2019, the Company entered into a leasing agreement regarding two Boeing 767 aircraft. Today, Icelandair has finalized a leasing agreement of the third aircraft, a 184-seat Boeing 757-200, which will be in operation from May 15 until the end of September 2019.

During the period April 1 to June 15, 2019, Icelandair will reduce its frequency of flight trips by around 3.6%, which accounts for around 100 trips. In most cases, these are flights to destination where more than one flight is available on the same day. Despite these changes, the total seat capacity during the period will essentially remain the same since the Company will use Boeing 767 aircraft that are larger than the Boeing 737 MAX. Therefore, these changes will not have significant effects on the total number of passengers during the period.

Image: Boeing.

Furthermore, Icelandair has decided to cancel its flights to Cleveland in the US and Halifax in Canada this year. This is partly due to the suspension of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft but also because of a decision to focus on meeting increased demand for flights to and from Iceland by moving supply from destinations that focus on travel between North America and Europe via Iceland.

The financial impact of the suspension of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is uncertain at this time as the amount of compensation from the aircraft producer is still under review.

Changes to Icelandair’s flight schedule following changes in the competitive environment

Because of changes in the competitive environment, Icelandair has decided to add flights to Southern Europe. Icelandair will offer three flights a week to Alicante in cooperation with Icelandair Group’s subsidiary, VITA, a travel agency that organises trips from Iceland.

Furthermore, Icelandair has started working towards adding aircraft to its fleet that will be fitted as economy only. These aircraft will have a larger number of seats than the Company‘s current aircraft, which lowers unit cost and therefore strengthens Icelandair’s competitiveness in this market. These aircraft are better suited for certain destinations that are not part of Icelandair‘s core route network, such as Alicante and Tenerife, and therefore present opportunities for growth. Icelandair expects the first aircraft of this type to be in operation in the beginning of the year 2020.

Icelandair introduces its Buddy Hotline

Icelandair has made this announcement:

  • 69% of Americans have a desire to get more information first-hand from locals as they believe they have more knowledge than any other source
  • Over one quarter of Americans (27%) feel ‘overwhelmed’ when planning a holiday, due to the amount of sources of reviews and recommendations
  • Over half even feel ‘anxious’ (23%), ‘stressed’ (16%) or ‘confused’ (13%) about what they should and shouldn’t book
  • New Buddy Hotline allows passengers to directly speak to or message an Icelandair Buddy for personal travel advice and recommendations when planning or on their trip
  • All Buddies are Iceland locals and members of the Icelandair team

Transatlantic airline Icelandair has launched its new Buddy Hotline service to connect passengers with Icelandair Buddies for personalized travel recommendations. The service aims to support travelers during or in the planning of their trip by providing trusted advice from locals.

Travelers can directly connect with a Buddy by phone or via an online messenger, to receive the ultimate ‘insider’ advice to make the most of their time away. From where to find the best fish restaurant in town, to where to discover a beautiful hidden spot for a picnic or enjoy a secluded geothermal hot pool, Icelandair’s Buddies will have the answer.

All Buddies are members of the Icelandair team who are knowledgable and passionate about promoting responsible tourism in the country.

A new global study conducted by Icelandair revealed that over one quarter of Americans (27%) feel overwhelmed by the travel planning process, and  52% feel ‘anxious,’ ‘stressed,’ or ‘confused’ about what they should see or do during their trip.

These feelings are further exacerbated with trust in reviews and recommendations at a new low. Research reveals that 71% of Americans are more aware of the existence of fake reviews than five years ago, which has resulted in 82% trusting reviews considerably less.

From discovering hidden gems to experiencing authentic local culture, there is a growing appetite among travelers to explore the ‘real’ location they’re visiting, and 68% of Americans expressed interest in having direct access to local knowledge for a more authentic experience. In addition to seeking advice from locals, many like to feel like a native while in another country, with over one third (36%) eating like a local and 43% shopping locally in an attempt to travel more sustainably.

Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO Icelandair Group, comments, “We know travelers are seeking more unique experiences guided by advice from trusted local sources.

“Our new Buddy Hotline service feeds this consumer appetite for ‘insider’ knowledge and is a great fit with our staff who, as Icelanders, have such a passion for warmly welcoming and hosting travelers from across the world.”

The Icelandair Buddies have a diverse range of personal passions and hobbies which will shine through with their advice for passengers.

  • Have an appetite for adventure? Guðlaug, a project manager, loves to get outdoors for a morning hike and can tell you where to enjoy some of Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes
  • In search of authentic Icelandic cuisine? Auður, a travel consultant, has his finger on the pulse of the hottest new spots to eat in town
  • In need of some peace and tranquillity? Sigríður, a flight attendant, is excited to share some of her favorite geothermal pools for passengers to relax and reenergize the Icelandic way
  • Want to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture? Edda, a customer service supervisor, loves to pass on her passion for traditional Icelandic culture, partaking in knitting lopapeysa (a traditional Icelandic sweater) in her spare time

The Buddy Hotline launches today and is available to all Icelandair passengers to enjoy from April 10May 8, 2019. To find out more about Icelandair’s Buddy Hotline and to take advantage by booking now visit icelandair.com/BuddyHotline.

Icelandair leases two Boeing 767 aircraft until end of September due to MAX grounding

Icelandair Boeing 767-319 ER WL TF-ISP (msn 26971) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 946142.

Icelandair has made this announcement:

In case of minimizing interruption to Icelandair’s flight schedule following the suspension of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Icelandair has entered into a leasing agreement regarding two Boeing 767 aircraft.

The first aircraft comes into operation mid-April but the second at the beginning of May and both aircraft will be in operation until the end of September. These are 262-seat aircraft with two classes and an entertainment system. Icelandair is currently working on leasing the third aircraft that would be added to its fleet in the summer 2019.

Furthermore, Icelandair is reviewing its flight schedule for the summer 2019 following significant changes in the competitive environment. If the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft come back into operation in June or earlier, Icelandair has the possibility of increasing its flight frequency during hightseason from its original plans due to the above-mentioned addition to the fleet.

Top Copyright Photo: Icelandair Boeing 767-319 ER WL TF-ISP (msn 26971) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 946142.

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

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Icelandair Group suspends operation of three Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

"Látrabjarg", delivered on April 4, 2018

Icelandair Group issued this statement:

Icelandair Group has decided to temporarily suspend operations of its three Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft until further notice.

The Company will follow any further developments closely, working with local, European, and American authorities regarding next steps. Based on the available information, Icelandair’s thorough safety processes and the training of its crew, the Company is confident in the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

In the short term, this decision will not have a material impact on the Company’s operations since it only affects 3 passenger aircraft of a total fleet of 33, which creates flexibility to respond in the coming weeks.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Icelandair Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 TF-ICY (msn 44354) LGW (Antony J. Best). Image: 944338.

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

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BOC Aviation delivers the first Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 aircraft to Icelandair

BOC Aviation Limited has announced that it has delivered its first Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 aircraft to its newest customer, Icelandair. The aircraft will be powered by CFM LEAP-1B Engines.


The pictured Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 TF-ICA (msn 44357) was officially handed over on February 22, 2019.

Photo: BOC Aviation.

Icelandair Group reports a “difficult operating year” due to over capacity and low yields, will focus on aircraft leasing

"Látrabjarg", delivered on April 4, 2018

Icelandair Group issued this report:

Difficult Operating Year

  • Total income $1.511 million, up by 7% year on year in 2018
  • Year’s EBITDA $76.5 million, as compared to USD 170.1 million in 2017
  • Year’s loss after taxes $55.6 million, as compared to profit USD 37.5 million in 2017
  • EBITDA in fourth quarter negative by $35.0 million, down between years
  • Low average air fares, increased oil prices and carbon emission allowances and poor results of the domestic operation explain reduced 4Q EBITDA between years
  • Equity ratio 32% at year-end.
  • Cash amounted to $299.5 million

Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO

“2018 was a difficult business year. Results fell short of our projections at the beginning of the year, which was characterised by strong competition, low and frequently irrational fares and significant fuel price increases. At the same time, changes in our sales and marketing operations and Route Network had a negative impact on our performance.

Our mission is clear: to improve the Company’s profitability and strengthen our operations for the future. Changes in the Company’s organisational structure have already been made to reflect our emphasis on our core operation, which is aviation. We are currently taking a number of measures, both on the revenue and expense side, which should result in improved operations in 2019. These measures include modifications in capacity to achieve a better balance in the Route Network between Europe and N-America, which will facilitate control and maximize revenue. We have also placed increased emphasis on ancillary revenue and on strengthening our sales and marketing activities, as well as an implementation of a new revenue control system is in its final stages. Furthermore, in the spring 2019, a new connection bank will be added alongside the current connection bank, which will improve resource utilisation as well as increase capacity and revenue. In addition, the Group’s domestic flight operations are currently under review.

It is clear that we are faced with uncertainty in our operating environment and our competitive environment is changing. However, our Company benefits from its strong foundations as well as our talented and capable people. The financial position of the Company is strong, and I am convinced that we are well positioned to take on the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Icelandair Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 TF-ICY (msn 44354) LGW (SPA). Image: 944878.

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

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Icelandair Group’s acquisition of Wow air is cancelled

Icelandair Group issued issued this statement:

The acquisition of Icelandair Group of Wow air, based on a purchase agreement signed on November 5t, 2018 has been cancelled. Both parties agree on this outcome.

Icelandair Group hf. issued a stock exchange release last Monday, November 26, 2018 stating that the company estimated that it would be unlikely that all of the conditions in the share purchase agreement would be fulfilled by the shareholders’ meeting on November 30, 2018. That situation remains unchanged.

Therefore, it is unlikely that the Board of Directors of Icelandair Group can recommend to the shareholders that they agree to the purchase agreement. Furthermore, the Board does not intend to submit to the shareholders’ meeting a proposal to postpone decision-making on the purchase agreement.

Due to this this situation, both parties agree to abandon the aforementioned purchase agreement.

Icelandair Group will hold its shareholders’ meeting on Friday, November 30, as previously announced. An authorisation proposal for the Board to increase the share capital of Icelandair Group is on the agenda of the shareholders’ meeting.

Bogi Nils Bogason, Interim President & CEO of Icelandair Group:

“The planned acquisition of Icelandair Group of Wow air will not go through. The Board of Directors and management of both companies have worked on this project in earnest. This conclusion is certainly disappointing. We want to thank WOW air‘s management for a good cooperation in the project during recent weeks . All our best wishes go out to the owners and staff of the Wow air. ”

Skúli Mogensen, CEO and Founder of Wow air:

“It was clear at the outset that it was an ambitious task to complete all the conditions of the share purchase agreement in this short period. We thank the Icelandair Group’s management team for this challenging project, and also wish the management and staff of Icelandair Group all the best.”

Icelandair Group acquires Wow Air

Wow Air Airbus A330-343 EC-MIN (msn 1607) LAX (Ron Monroe). Image: 944276.

Icelandair Group has made this announcement:

Icelandair Group has entered into a share purchase agreement to purchase all shares in the airline WOW air.

The acquisition is subject to, approval by Icelandair Group‘s shareholders, the approval of the Icelandic competition authorities and a due diligence. As consideration for the shares, the shareholders of WOW air will, subject to conditions, receive a total of 272.341.867 shares or the equivalent of 5.4% of Icelandair Group‘s shares after the transaction. Thereof, 178.066.520 shares or 3.5% of the shares as consideration for the sold shares. The consideration can increase to 4.8% or decrease to 0.0% in accordance with certain conditions set forth in the share purchase agreement.  94.275.347 shares or 1.8% of the shares will be paid due to conversion of a subordinated loan into equity. All of sellers’ shares in Icelandair Group will be subject to restrictive covenants for 6 months and half of the shares will be subject to restrictive covenants to further six months.

The companies will continue to operate under separate brands. Their combined market share on the transatlantic market is around 3.8%. The acquisition creates opportunity for both companies to become even better prepared to provide international carriers with strong competition in the international airline market.

Bogi Nils Bogason, Interim President & CEO, Icelandair Group: „WOW air has in recent years built a strong brand and enjoyed great success in the company‘s markets to and from Iceland and across the Atlantic.. There are many opportunities for synergies with the two companies but they will continue to operate under their own brands and operating approvals. The tourism industry is one of the cornerstones of the Icelandic economy and it is important that flights to and from Iceland will remain frequent.“

Skúli Mogensen, CEO and founder of WOW air: „I am very proud of the success and development that we at WOW Air have enjoyed in the past few years and I am thankful for the response we have received since our very first flight. We have created a strong team that has reached remarkable success and has been a pioneer in low cost flights across the North-Atlantic. A new chapter now starts where WOW air gets an opportunity to grow and prosper with a strong backer like Icelandair Group that will strengthen the foundations of the company and strengthen its international competitiveness even further.“

In the upcoming days, Icelandair Group‘s will convene a shareholders‘ meeting where Icelandair Group‘s shareholders will cast their vote on the acquisition. A shareholders’ meeting shall be convened with at least three weeks‘ notice.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airlines): Wow Air Airbus A330-343 EC-MIN (msn 1607) LAX (Ron Monroe). Image: 944276.

Wow Air aircraft slide show:

Icelandair route map:

Wow Air route map:

Icelandair optimizes 2019 schedule with additional bank of flights

Icelandair Boeing 757-3E7 WL TF-ISX (msn 30179) (100 Years Icelandic Independence) FRA (Jacques Guillem Collection). Image: 943442.

Icelandair has announced a second bank of flights, expanding their current network and creating more options for passengers traveling to and from North America and Europe.

The new bank of flights will be in addition to the current Icelandair flight schedule and begin in May 2019. Although the second connection bank will be smaller, additional flights will operate to major cities in Europe, including, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, and Zurich. North America will see the second bank option in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Toronto and Washington, DC.

The new bank will also create opportunities to enter new markets, improve passenger service and increase flexibility in the network. With limited availability to add flights or increase passenger numbers at Keflavik Airport during peak hours, in the morning and afternoon, the second bank will depart when ample space at departure gates and ramps are available. Combining flight banks will also allow for connections requiring longer travel times and provide passengers more options to and from their final destination.

The new bank of fights from North America will arrive in Iceland at approximately 09:30 am with connections to Europe departing around 10:30 am.  Flights returning from Europe land in Keflavik around 6:30 pm with departures to North America at approximately 8:00 pm.

The additional flights are linked to the ongoing renewal of Icelandair’s fleet, as the company will be adding six new Boeing MAX aircraft early next year, in addition to the three that arrived this year.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Icelandair): Icelandair Boeing 757-3E7 WL TF-ISX (msn 30179) (100 Years Icelandic Independence) FRA (Jacques Guillem Collection). Image: 943442.

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

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Icelandair flies their national flag in the skies with a new Boeing 757-300

(PRNewsfoto/Icelandair)

Icelandair has added some national pride to the skies with the launch of its latest special livery, marking 100 years of Icelandic independence and sovereignty. Proud of its rich Icelandic heritage, the airline has transformed one of its new Boeing 757-300s into a flying piece of artwork, bearing the Iceland national flag, bringing passengers closer to the nation’s history before they even step off the plane.

The pictured Boeing 757-3E7 TF-ISX (msn 30179) formerly flew with Arkia as 4X-BAW.

The unveiling of their “flag” livery highlights another special moment in Iceland’s story by sending off passionate Icelandic soccer fans to support the nation as they make sporting history this summer.

The country is the smallest nation ever to qualify for soccer’s biggest stage and the airline is offering a special service this summer from Iceland to Russia for supporters. Members of legendary fan group “Tolfan” led soccer fans in the iconic ‘Huh’ thunderclap ahead of boarding the milestone livery for the celebratory flight (below).

All of Icelandair’s planes are named after Icelandic volcanoes and locations of natural beauty. “Thingvellir,” is named after Iceland’s breath-taking national park and home of Iceland’s first Parliament. It becomes the third in Icelandair’s family of special liveries, joining “Hekla Aurora” and “Vatnaokull” which were introduced in 2015 and 2017 respectively and inspired by the northern lights and Europe’s second largest glacier.

The new “flag” plane livery also features wonderful touches inside the aircraft to continue the soccer magic, including the illusion of a grass soccer field on the floor. In addition, headrest covers and on-board coffee cups also showcase the flag colors along with quirky references to Icelandic football.

As long-standing sponsors of the national soccer teams, Icelandair celebrated their success earlier this summer with the launch of Team Iceland Stopover, a series of 90-minute, football-inspired experiences co-created by the players and airline, free for all passengers to enjoy.

Photos: Icelandair.

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