06 July, 2023

Icelandair orders 13 Airbus A321XLR aircraft

The national airline of Iceland, Icelandair has placed a firm order for 13 Airbus A321XL aircraft as well as completed long-term lease deals with SMBC Aviation Capital Limited, for four new Airbus A321LR aircraft, scheduled to be delivered from Airbus in the fourth quarter of 2024.  

The carrier origionally announced back in April this year that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase of 13 Airbus A321XLR aircraft with purchase rights for additional 12 aircraft. 

With its extra long range, the A321XLR will allow Icelandair to seize new market opportunities. The aircraft will also enable the airline to reduce its operating costs, support its sustainability targets and at the same time offer its passengers the best in cabin comfort.

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A320neo which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. It will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm – 15% more range than the A321LR and with 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft, as well as reduced NOx emissions and noise. For passengers, the A321XLR’s new Airspace cabin will provide the best travel experience, while offering seats in all classes with the same high-comfort as on a long-haul wide-body, with the low costs of a single-aisle aircraft. By the end of May 2023, the A320neo Family had accumulated more than 8,750 orders from  136 customers worldwide.

”We are very pleased to announce that we have now finalized the purchase agreement with Airbus. The efficient A321XLR aircraft will further strengthen our business model, increase our flexibility and provide opportunities for future growth, as well as further support our sustainability efforts. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2029 but we plan to have four Airbus aircraft in operation before summer of 2025 and have now secured the lease of new A321LR aircraft with our long-term partner SMBC Aviation Capital Limited” said Bogi Nils Bogason, Icelandair’s CEO.

"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Icelandair for placing their trust and confidence in Airbus. It fills us with immense pride to welcome Icelandair as a new Airbus customer. By harnessing the exceptional performance of the A321XLR, your airline is forging a path of sustainable growth with remarkable efficiency and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions," expressed Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.

With the arrival of the Airbus aircraft Icelandair will retire its Boeing 757 aircraft which have been the backbone of the carrier's fleet since 1990 and enabled it to build an extensive route network making good use of Iceland's unique geographical location. 

Icelandair in June  

In June 2023, the number of passengers travelling with the carrier was 518,527, a 20% increase since June last year. A total of 1.8 million passengers travelled with Icelandair for the first six months of the year, 31% more than at the same time last year.

Passengers on international flights were 493,228 in June, compared to 406,881 in June 2022, an increase of 21%. Thereof, 43% were travelling to Iceland, 13% from Iceland and 44% were via passengers. The load factor was 86% and improved by 2.7 percentage points compared to June last year on 22% more capacity.  Demand was particularly strong on North American routes with a load factor close to 90%, which is the highest it has ever been in the month of June. On-time performance on international flights was 67%, which is below the Company’s goals.  

Passengers on domestic flights were 25,299. The load factor on domestic flights was 78.8% and on-time performance was 91%, significantly improving year-on-year.

Freight, measured in Freight Ton Kilometers increased by 51%, driven by an increase in transit freight following the addition of two wide-body B767-300 freighter aircraft. Sold block hours in the leasing operation increased 5%.

Route NetworkJun 23Jun 22CHG (%)YTD 23YTD 22CHG (%)
Number of Passengers518,527431,40820%1,844,8181,411,79931%
Load Factor85.9%83.2%2.7 ppt81.5%74.9%6.7 ppt
Available Seat KM (ASK´000,000)1,866.71,524.222%6,581.05,306.924%
Revenue Passenger KM (RPK´000,000)1,604.41,268.227%5,365.93,973.935%
  To market (passengers)210,911175,84720%743,897588,88726%
  From market (passengers)63,34856,96511%309,579247,24725%
  Via market (passengers)218,969174,06926%657,739451,60746%
Number of Passengers493,228406,88121%1,711,2141,287,74133%
Load Factor86.0%83.3%2.7 ppt81.6%74.9%6.7 ppt
Available Seat KM (ASK´000,000)1,857.51,514.723%6,530.65,262.124%
Revenue Passenger KM (RPK´000,000)1,597.11,261.227%5,327.23,938.735%
Stage length (KM)3,1953,1113%3,0743,0680%
On-Time-Performance (Arrivals)67.0%67.0%0.0 ppt75.0%74.3%0.7 ppt
Number of Passengers25,29924,5273%133,603124,0588%
Load Factor78.8%74.3%4.5 ppt76.8%78.6%-1.8 ppt
Available Seat KM (ASK´000,000)9.39.5-2%50.444.713%
On-Time-Performance (Arrivals)91%73%18.0 ppt85%72%13.0 ppt
Cargo & LeasingJun 23Jun 22CHG (%)YTD 23YTD 22CHG (%)
Sold Block Hours - Leasing1,2561,1995%7,5306,9329%
Freight Tonne KM (FTK´000)15,64610,32751%89,14769,18129%
CO2 EMISSIONSJun 23Jun 22CHG (%)YTD 23YTD 22CHG (%)
Total CO2 emissions tonnes124,790106,41317%463,001389,03419%
CO2 emissions per OTK0.730.76-4%0.760.82-7%