Icelandair Bumper Profits, Fleet Renewal Decision Imminent
Airlines Business / Finance Manufacturers

Icelandair Bumper Profits, Fleet Renewal Decision Imminent

DALLAS – Icelandair (FI) has dubbed 2022 a “great turnaround year” after announcing full-year profits of almost US$19m. This compared to a loss of US$135m in 2021. It added that its Q4 performance was its best since 2015.

Q4 capacity was 95% up on 2021 levels, while total passenger numbers rose to 3.7 million with an average load factor of 79.7%. However, fuel prices had impacted the airline’s expenditure, increasing by 77% and accounting for a third of its US$1.12bn in outgoings.

FI welcomed seven new 737 MAXs this year. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways.

“A Great Turnaround”

Bogi Nils Bogason, FI CEO and President, said, “The year 2022 was characterized by a great turnaround of our business. Strong revenue generation with record passenger revenue in the second half of the year and significant EBIT improvement shows that our business model has proven its worth yet again. We are back on track, stronger than ever and ready to operate the largest flight schedule, in terms of frequency and destinations, in the history of Icelandair.

“Our strategy and actions throughout the pandemic ensured we were prepared to rapidly increase capacity to meet the steep increase in demand in all our markets. In 2022, we doubled our flight schedule and transported 3.7 million passengers to 51 destinations.”

In a diversification of the carrier’s business model, FI welcomed its first Boeing 767-300F in December. The second will arrive in the first quarter of this year. “Icelandair Cargo has been an integral part in our recovery, ensuring important revenue generation throughout the pandemic and during the ramp-up. We believe that our plans of establishing a cargo hub in Iceland will provide great opportunities for the Company as well as Icelandic businesses. Furthermore, our leasing business emerged strongly from Covid with 2022 being one of the best performing years in the history of Loftleidir-Icelandic,” Bogason added.

FI welcomed its first P2F converted 767 in December 2022. Photo: Icelandair.

Fleet Plans

FI also welcomed seven new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to the fleet during 2022, bringing the total operated to 16. The airline now has a 40-strong fleet, including the 737 MAX, the Boeing 757-200 and -300, and three Boeing 767-300ERs.

The Icelandair Group is now in the process of finalising the results of its fleet renewal discussions. It has been looking to replace its 757 fleet, studying the 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo families.

In a statement, the group said, “The future fleet strategy of Icelandair has been thoroughly reviewed in recent years, where options for fleet renewal and growth have been identified.”

It added that “Dialogue with the respective aircraft manufacturers is ongoing,” with an announcement expected in the first half of 2023.

The new fleet will be used to continue network expansion. It currently serves 51 destinations and will add four more during 2023, increasing capacity by 15-20%. From its Keflavík International Airport (KEF) hub, FI will add Barcelona (BCN), Detroit (DTW), Prague (PRG) and Tel Aviv (TLV).

Featured Image: Icelandair operates a pair of 757-300s. Photo: Daniel Crawford/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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