Our route network

The first half of 2021, Icelandair’s operations were at a minimum, still being marked by the effects of the pandemic. Travel restrictions were still in place at most of our destinations, and demand for flights was limited due to the spread of the Delta variant of the virus. Icelandair continued to emphasize maintaining efficient air transport, connecting Iceland to the world, both for passengers and freight. On the other hand, the number of passengers on domestic flights increased between years.

There was an immediate increase in passengers in the second half of the year with Icelandair's capacity reaching 50% of pre-Covid levels in the summer. International and domestic flights increased parallel to vaccinations progress and the easing of travel restrictions.

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We offer smooth and enjoyable journeys to, from, via and within Iceland - our hub and home

An efficient ramp-up

Mid-June, Icelandair reached the milestone of having over 100 departures from Keflavík Airport in one week. It marked a turning point as this was the first time since mid-March 2020 that the Company had over 100 weekly departures. During the summer peak, Icelandair went up to 200 departures a week to 34 destinations. When the Omicron variant of the virus appeared, bookings slowed down again for a short while.

Another turning point occurred in November, when the United States opened its borders to vaccinated passengers. With this change, all of Icelandair's market areas were reopened for the first time since travel restrictions began in March 2020.

2021 was a year of recovery. We planned and prepared multiple scenarios of the ramp-up, and finally by the end of the second quarter we were scaling up operations at a remarkable pace. The ramp-up was made possible through strong tactical alignment across operations, the flexibility of the route network, and the passion of the Icelandair team, adapting to every challenge and situation in an ever-changing environment. This was the absolute key to the successful ramp-up of our operations.

Heiða Njóla Guðbrandsdóttir

Deputy COO

85% of passengers transported in the second half of the year

Looking at the full year, Icelandair doubled its total number of passengers between years. The Company transported around 1.5 million, whereof 85% were in the second half of the year.

The load factor on international flights was 65.3%. The market to Iceland accounted for 47% of the total number of passengers in 2021 compared to 50% in 2020, the market from Iceland accounted for 14% compared to 18% in 2020 and the via market accounted for 23% compared to 18% in 2020. The total capacity in December 2021 was 65% of the capacity in December 2019. The domestic market within Iceland accounted for 15% of the total number of passengers in 2021, compared to 14% in 2020 and 5% in 2019. However, the number of passengers on domestic flights increased by 79% in 2021.

Number of passengers per market







New destinations

In May, Icelandair added Tenerife as a new destination in the route network, having flown charter flights to the destination for many years. In addition, Icelandair also increased the frequency of flights to Orlando during the winter and announced the ski city of Salzburg as a new destination for the coming year. The purpose of this was to meet the high demand, as Orlando and Tenerife have been popular destinations for Icelanders during the winter. Also, Rome, Nice, Montreal, and Raleigh-Durham were added as new destinations in the Icelandair route network for 2022. Additionally, Alicante will now be part of the route network, but Icelandair has offered charter flights to Alicante for many years.

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