The Company’s goal coming out of the pandemic is to return to a level of sustainable operating results. During the current adaptation period, as the Company and the aviation industry move closer to normal operations again, Icelandair has been strengthening its position by shifting its focus towards selective investments in its infrastructure as it identifies opportunities in a post-Covid world, continuing to use its flexibility to adapt quickly to market developments while preserving its strong financial position.

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Ambitious 2022 flight schedule

To fulfill expected demand, Icelandair has presented an ambitious flight schedule that is expected to bring capacity to around 80% of 2019 levels. The Company will ramp up gradually as traffic returns through the spring with an increased frequency of flights to both Europe and North America and aiming at around 420 weekly departures during the summer peak. At the same time, Icelandair continues to retain its flexibility to meet any potential developments with regards to the pandemic.

Scheduled flights offered to 50 destinations in 2022

Icelandair will offer flights to 50 destinations during the year – 16 in North America, 27 in Europe, 3 within Iceland and 4 in Greenland. Thereof four destinations are new: Raleigh-Durham in the US along with Rome, Nice and Salzburg in Europe. Furthermore, Alicante is a new addition to Icelandair’s route network, after solely being operated as a charter destination. The Company has also re-introduced a number of destinations, such as Baltimore, Anchorage, Montreal and Vancouver in North America, and Bergen and Madrid in Europe.

Bookings accelerating into the spring and summer

The Omicron variant negatively affected travel throughout January resulting in a load factor at around 60%. This short-term impact will continue into February and therefore negatively affect the results for the first quarter of 2022. However, due to indications that the nature of this variant is less severe, the Company started to see a positive turnaround in booking development from mid-January for the months ahead. There is significant pent-up demand in all key markets, not least from tourists wishing to experience Iceland’s nature, culture and hospitality. Therefore, bookings are expected to remain strong going forward into the year.

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Strong outlook in the cargo operation

The outlook in the cargo operation remains strong. Demand continues to be robust for export and the growth in import is strong. The transit market was the fastest growing market in 2021 and the forward outlook is very positive. Due to the strong outlook in international freight markets, the Company entered into lease agreements for two B767-300ER aircraft in March 2021 that will be converted to freighters with the aim to increase capacity and strengthen Iceland as a hub for cargo between Europe and North America. The aircraft are expected to be taken into operation next autumn. These additions will bring the total freighters in the Icelandair fleet to four, two Boeing 757-200 and two Boeing 767-300.

The outlook for leasing operations improving

The outlook in the global market for ad-hoc and long-term charters has improved although it has not reached pre-Covid levels. In addition to the ongoing long-term leasing projects the Company has secured new short-term projects, such as charter flights between Orlando and Havana in connection with scheduled Icelandair flights from Iceland to Orlando. These flights contribute to better aircraft utilization and generate important revenue for the Company. In addition, flights to Havana from Houston and Miami are scheduled in the first months of the year.