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Icelandair: 2022 a turnaround year

Full-year EBIT USD 19 million, improving by USD 136 million; Capacity in Q4 2022 95% of the 2019 capacity. Seven B737 MAX aircraft added to the fleet in 2022.

In January 2023, Icelandair’s passengers were 210 thousand, compared to 113 thousand in January last year. Capacity in January was 93% of January 2020 levels, the last normal operating January before the pandemic, and 79% of 2019 levels.

Passengers on international flights were 191 thousand, compared to 102 thousand in January 2022, an increase of 88%. Passengers to Iceland were 75 thousand and from Iceland 47 thousand. Via passengers were around 69 thousand. On-time performance on international flights was 75%. On time performance and passenger numbers were affected by weather related disruptions in January. The load factor on international flights improved significantly from 59.5% in January 2022 to 74.6% in January this year.

Passengers on domestic flights were 18,500, compared to around 12 thousand in January 2022. On time performance was 84%. Load factor on domestic flights was 72.4%. Weather in Iceland caused disruption in the domestic network in January, affecting on time performance and passenger numbers.

According to Icelandair’s FY22 results:

  • Full-year EBIT USD 19 million, improving by USD 136 million
  • Strong revenue generation resulting in the best fourth quarter performance since 2015
  • Capacity in Q4 2022 95% of the 2019 capacity
  • Unit revenue in Q4 up 13% year-on-year
  • Weather disruptions in December negatively affecting results in Q4 2022
  • Leasing operation gaining momentum and strong profitability in 2022
  • A new B767-300 freighter entered operations in December
  • Seven B737 MAX aircraft added to the fleet in 2022
  • Strong balance sheet and total liquidity of USD 318 million at end of year
  • Reduction in CO2 emissions by 17% per OTK compared to 2021
  • January 2023 record sales month and good outlook in all markets
  • EBIT ratio expected to be in the 4-6% range for the full year of 2023

Bogi Nils Bogason, Icelandair’s President & CEO, stated, “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.

As the aviation industry as a whole, we experienced external operational challenges that affected the summer peak, in addition to severe weather conditions towards the end of the year. We were, however, in a good position to respond to these challenges and reduce the impact on our customers due to our extensive flight schedule, frequency of flights and the resourcefulness of our employees.

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.

The successful ramp-up of our operations following the pandemic has been crucial for the recovery of Icelandic tourism and economy. In 2022, we brought around 740 thousand tourists to Iceland and recruited around 1,000 employees. To safeguard the value that aviation and travel create, it is important to ensure a sustainable future of these industries. We have a strong focus on economic, social and environmental sustainability across our operations and are working with our key stakeholders towards our goals in this area.

Our operating environment will remain challenging this year with inflation and increased salary cost. We are, however, confident that people will continue to prioritize travel and there will be great opportunities for Iceland as a destination as we see reflected in our near-term booking flow.

I would like to thank our customers for their trust, our partners for their cooperation and our shareholders for their support during the year. However, first and foremost, I would like to thank our employees for what we have achieved together. With our exceptional team, robust foundations of our business, healthy financial position and of course our extensive and flexible route network that allows us to constantly adapt, we look forward to seizing the opportunities ahead and continuing to bring the spirit of Iceland to the world.”

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