It is expected that Icelandair, a subsidiary of Icelandair Group, will see its international flight schedule in 2017 expand by approximately 13% from 2016. The number of passengers is projected at 4.2 million in 2017, an increase of approximately 450 thousand from 2016. Two new destinations will be added, which will be introduced in the coming weeks and flight frequency increased to several gateways in both North America and Europe. Two 262-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft will be added to the fleet and a total of 30 aircraft will be used in the Route Network next summer. The increase is expected to result in a continued growth of the Icelandic tourist industry, strengthening the operations of other subsidiaries of Icelandair Group.
It is projected that available seat kilometres will increase by 13% next year, while the number of flights will increase by 8%. The difference is due to the increased weight of longer flights to North America in the schedule and the increased use of larger aircraft. Next year the fleet will include four 262-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft and 26 Boeing 757 aircraft.
The scope of the international Route Network has multiplied since 2009. In that year passengers numbered approximately 1.3 million, or 30% of the number projected for 2017. The Route Network has been built mainly around the hub at Keflavik International Airport, with morning flights to cities in Europe and afternoon flights to North America. In recent years the Company has been building up a secondary bank of flights with departures to North-America just before noon and midnight departures from Iceland to Europe. This development will continue next year.
Björgólfur Jóhannsson, President and CEO: “As stated in our interim report for second quarter, average airfares have been declining and the Company therefore lowered its EBITDA guidance in July. However, we expect the operating results for 2016 to be one of the best in the Company´s history. The Company is therefore well positioned to handle the continued organic growth which is planned for 2017.”