15 April, 2024

Improved load factor and on-time performance reports icelandair

Icelandair boosting passenger numbers

In March 2024, Icelandair transported 297,552 passengers, which represents a 25% increase in passenger traffic as measured by Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) on a capacity increase of 22% compared to March 2023. During the month, 39% of passengers were travelling to Iceland, 19% from Iceland, 34% were via passengers, and 8% were travelling within Iceland. Load factor was 83.1% and on-time performance was 88.5%, increasing by 4.7 ppt from the already solid performance in March 2023.

Now is a great time to go birdwatching in Iceland,
 see below for more details

Bogi Nils Bogason, Icelandair president and CEO said:  “We continue seeing strong traffic numbers, with 25% increase in passenger traffic as compared to March last year. The traffic figures are impacted by an unusually early Easter traffic. During the month, we saw 50% increase in the number of via passengers and 13% increase on the from market while the number of passengers on the to market grew by 4%. These figures underscore the flexibility of our route network, allowing us to align capacity to developments in demand and, in this case, focus our capacity and sales efforts on the via and from markets where the demand was stronger.

Furthermore, we maintain our strong on-time performance and consistently high load factor despite a 22% capacity increase. This success is thanks to the excellent performance of our employees.”

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Birdwatching in Iceland.....

The beauty of the Puffins
Photo by Till Rottmann
Iceland is a summertime breeding destination for thousands of birds, and the locals pay heed to the arrival of these visitors: It signals that spring is finally arriving and long daylight and milder weather await. 

But it’s not just the locals who roll out the welcome mat for these stopover guests: tourists flock (sorry!) to anywhere that offers the promise of puffins. They’re everyone’s favorite bright-beaked clowns, but supporting these headliner acts is a magnificent cast of feathered co-stars, spread across the country. See our map below for some birding hotspots, and read on for some of the best and most surprising bird-loving locales. 

Puffins spend the winter at sea, and come to Iceland for spring and summer in their preferred breeding grounds: steep rocky cliffs by the ocean.

Fun fact: puffins return to the same breeding grounds, and are monogamous, breeding with the same partner for life.

They usually begin arriving in early April and stay as late as early September, so May to mid-August is the best time to be assured of seeing them in large numbers. (In 2024, the first puffins were observed on Grímsey and in Borgarfjörður Eystri on April 10.) They are best observed at the breeding grounds in the early mornings or evenings, as they often spend the day at sea.

Best places to go birdwatching in Iceland

Got a thing for feathers? Twitch away, friends. This map only scratches the surface of the avian riches to be found across Iceland, from tiny islets and soaring sea cliffs to lakes, ponds and lagoons that play host to countless visitors with a starring role on birders’ checklists.

Icelandair connects Reykjavík with domestic destinations close to some of the finest birdwatching and puffin-admiring locales:

Akureyri in North Iceland acts as a gateway to birdwatching hotspots including Hrísey, Grímsey and Mývatn.
Egilsstaðir in East Iceland serves as an access point to the secluded, puffin-rich jewel of Borgarfjörður Eystri.
Ísafjörður in the Westfjords is a stepping stone to the island of Vigur and the magnificent bird cliffs of Látrabjarg.

Birdwatching in West Iceland and the Westfjords

Arnarstapi Rocky arches meet nesting seabirds at this quintessential beauty spot on the southern side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. This unique landscape serves as both a stage and a sanctuary for nesting seabirds such as the kittiwake, Arctic tern and fulmar.

Látrabjarg Venturing to the rugged reaches of Iceland’s westernmost point leads you to Látrabjarg. This hotspot is home to one of Europe’s grandest bird cliffs, and the unrivaled puffin paradise puts on a breathtaking spectacle.

Vigur Abundant eider ducks and puffins visit this view-enriched island, which beckons bird enthusiasts to its shores by boat from Ísafjörður. As the vessel approaches, expect a vivid tapestry of birdlife to unfold before your eyes. 

Read more at Birdwatching in Iceland | Puffins in Iceland | Icelandair GB