Icelandair saw 7% rise in passenger numbers year-on-year for January

Icelandair saw 7% rise in passenger numbers year-on-year for January

Icelandair has reported seeing a 7 per cent rise in passenger numbers year-on-year for January.

Last month, the Icelandic flag carrier welcomed 225,000 travellers aboard its aircraft – an increase on its figures compared to January 2023.

The data also shows 31 per cent of passengers that flew with the airline last month were travelling to Iceland – and 20 per cent travelled from the Nordic island nation.

Meanwhile, Icelandair recorded its load factor for January this year at 69.4 per cent and its on-time performance at 79.8 per cent, which it said was “somewhat impacted by weather”.

The airline also saw a 16 per cent increase in sold block hours in charter flights. However, freight, measured in freight tonne-kilometres saw a 9 per cent fall compared to January 2023.

And although the volcanic eruption in Southwest Iceland in November had “no effect” on its flight schedule, the airline said “global media coverage of the events did have a significant negative impact on bookings in the fourth quarter of 2023, which is a very important sales period for flights in January”.

These results come after the flag carrier announced a profit of $11mn at the end of 2023 – a turnaround from a loss of $6mn in 2022.

From January to December last year, it saw a 17 per cent increase in the total number of passengers it carried compared to 2022 having served 4.3 million travellers.

Whilst, in the fourth quarter, Icelandair witnessed a 13 per cent capacity increase.

After publishing its financial results for 2023, Bogi Nils Bogason, airline president and CEO, said: “It is an important milestone to turn a profit after taxes in 2023 following many challenging years.

“Revenue generation was very strong during the year with strong demand in all our markets, especially from North America to Iceland.

“In addition, we achieved the best on-time performance for years, with Icelandair being named one of the top 10 most punctual airlines in Europe in 2023.”

He added that the airline is in a “good position to respond to the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead with our flexibility to adapt” looking ahead to 2024.

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