Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Icelandair reports strong performance during December and 2018

Photo Icelandair
The financially troubled national carrier of Iceland, Icelandair has released details of its performance over December and 2018.

The company carried 263,457 passengers on international flights during December, 12% up on last years total for the month, with a load factor of 79.6% also up from the same month a year ago. The airline has had to significantly reduce its fares over the year to combat stringent competition from many other carriers, including Norwegian and WOW. 

The number of passengers on domestic and regional flights decreased by 17% to 19,295 after the airline axed many regional operations earlier in the year.  In addition, the number of passengers decreased due to cancellations of flights due to weather conditions.  The load factor was 60.0% increasing slightly up from last year, but still rather disappointing for the carrier.

The airline also reported sold block hours for its charter flights division, down  9% and the utilisation decreased between years, mainly due to the maintenance of aircraft. Freight increased by 8%. The number of available room nights at the Company’s Hotels was up by 20% from last year. The room occupancy was 66.9% compared to 68.2% in December 2017.

The Company has never carried more passengers on international flights than in 2018.  The total number of passengers carried was 4.1 million, a 2% increase from the previous year. The passenger load factor in 2018 was 81.0%, decreasing by 1.7 percentage points from 2017. The total number of passengers on domestic and regional flights was 319, 238, decreasing by 9%. Sold block hours on charter flights increased by 23% and cargo transport was up by 7%. The room utilisation at the Company’s Hotels for the total year was 80.1% compared to 81.2% in 2017.    

The company is part way through a major financial restructuring of the group which has included a number of share issues, bonds and sale and leaseback deals on all six of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft it has on order from Boeing. Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair Group said, Icelandair Group had over USD 250 million in cash and cash equivalents. In addition, the Company owned 40 unencumbered aircraft. Thus, the Company is well prepared to handle fluctuations in the business environment and seize the opportunities that may arise.”