04 February, 2023

Icelandair: 2022 a turnaround year

The latest results from Icelandair have now been released for 2022 for what has been described as a turnaround year. 

Highlights include: 

Full-year EBIT USD 19 million, improving by USD 136 million
Strong revenue generation resulting in the best fourth quarter performance since 2015
Capacity in Q4 2022 95% of the 2019 capacity
Unit revenue in Q4 up 13% year-on-year
Weather disruptions in December negatively affecting results in Q4 2022
Leasing operation gaining momentum and strong profitability in 2022
A new B767-300 freighter entered operations in December
Seven B737 MAX aircraft added to the fleet in 2022
Strong balance sheet and total liquidity of USD 318 million at end of year
Reduction in CO2 emissions by 17% per OTK compared to 2021
January 2023 record sales month and good outlook in all markets
EBIT ratio expected to be in the 4-6% range for the full year of 2023

Icelandair President and CEO Bogi Nils Bogason made this statement on the airline's performance during 2022, which has been seen by many as a key turnaround year for the financially constrained carrier, “The year 2022 was characterized by a great turnaround of our business. Strong revenue generation with record passenger revenue in the second half of the year and significant EBIT improvement shows that our business model has proven its worth yet again. We are back on track, stronger than ever and ready to operate the largest flight schedule, in terms of frequency and destinations, in the history of Icelandair.

Our strategy and actions throughout the pandemic ensured we were prepared to rapidly increase capacity to meet the steep increase in demand in all our markets. In 2022, we doubled our flight schedule and transported 3.7 million passengers to 51 destinations.

As the aviation industry as a whole, we experienced external operational challenges that affected the summer peak, in addition to severe weather conditions towards the end of the year. We were, however, in a good position to respond to these challenges and reduce the impact on our customers due to our extensive flight schedule, frequency of flights and the resourcefulness of our employees.

Icelandair Cargo has been an integral part in our recovery, ensuring important revenue generation throughout the pandemic and during the ramp-up. We believe that our plans of establishing a cargo hub in Iceland will provide great opportunities for the Company as well as Icelandic businesses. Furthermore, our leasing business emerged strongly from Covid with 2022 being one of the best performing years in the history of Loftleidir-Icelandic.

The successful ramp-up of our operations following the pandemic has been crucial for the recovery of Icelandic tourism and economy. In 2022, we brought around 740 thousand tourists to Iceland and recruited around 1,000 employees. To safeguard the value that aviation and travel create, it is important to ensure a sustainable future of these industries. We have a strong focus on economic, social and environmental sustainability across our operations and are working with our key stakeholders towards our goals in this area.

Our operating environment will remain challenging this year with inflation and increased salary cost. We are, however, confident that people will continue to prioritize travel and there will be great opportunities for Iceland as a destination as we see reflected in our near-term booking flow.

I would like to thank our customers for their trust, our partners for their cooperation and our shareholders for their support during the year. However, first and foremost, I would like to thank our employees for what we have achieved together. With our exceptional team, robust foundations of our business, healthy financial position and of course our extensive and flexible route network that allows us to constantly adapt, we look forward to seizing the opportunities ahead and continuing to bring the spirit of Iceland to the world.”