Contributing to society

As the airline that brings the majority of tourists to Iceland and as an important employer in the country, a successful ramp-up of our operations in 2021 is vital for Icelandic tourism, the local economy and society at large. Icelandair contributes directly to the Icelandic economy in the form taxes and fees paid to the government and municipalities. Additionally, its indirect contributions are significant and drive economic benefits, not only to the local tourism industry but the Icelandic economy as a whole.

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From growth drivers to pillars of the Icelandic economy

Over the last decade, the aviation industry has become a critical pillar of the Icelandic economy. Both directly through its own contribution and indirectly by transporting tourists to Iceland and facilitating stronger connections with the rest of the world. During this period, Icelandair has played an important role in fostering growth and job creation in both the aviation and tourism industries, the twin engines that drove Iceland’s economic boom in the 2010s.

The growth in tourism and aviation in the 2010s transformed Iceland’s economy leading to a strong current account surplus and the country’s first ever net positive foreign asset position. During the decade, both public and private debt levels were greatly reduced and the same is true for the country’s unemployment rate. These strong fundamentals put the Icelandic economy in a position to withstand the severe negative effects of the pandemic and to bounce back stronger than ever.

Significant impact

Iceland is dependent on efficient flight connections for international relations, business, travel and to maintain a good quality of life. As the leading airline in Iceland and an important employer, a successful ramp up of its operations is crucial for Icelandic tourism, the economy and society at large.

Due to the drastic impact of Covid, the Icelandic government introduced general measures to soften the impact of the pandemic. As many other companies Icelandair benefitted from these measures in 2020 and 2021. However, the total tax footprint of Icelandair in the years 2020 and 2021 amounted to around USD 200 million which is five times the measures received. That includes all taxes and fees paid to the government and municipalities, net of the measures received.

Additionally, the indirect impact of Icelandair´s operations is considerable. We transported around 350 thousand tourists to Iceland during 2021 that spent around USD 650 million on products and services within Iceland. Icelandair also plays an important role in the Icelandic seafood industry by securing transport of fresh products to key markets in Europe and North America. The export value of Icelandic seafood that we transported in 2021 was around USD 450 million.

Icelandair managed to successfully ramp up its operations in 2021 and in line with increased production, the Company recruited almost 1,000 employees in 2021, bringing the number of FTEs (average fulltime employee) to almost 2,400 at year-end 2021.

The total tax footprint of Icelandair in the years 2020 and 2021 amounted to USD 200 million.

Icelandair total tax footprint in USD

Icelandair direct and indirect impact on Icelandic economy in USD