The second quarter (Q2) of 2022 saw a respectable $3.8 million profit for Icelandair, the country’s national airline. With losses of $45.9 million in the first half of this year, there is still a long way to go.
With 4,000 flights and 990,000 passengers, Icelandair made a total of $328.9 million in the second quarter. In contrast, it made $77.5 million, ran 1,240 flights, and carried 154,900 passengers in Q2 of last year. Capacity is already at 75.5 percent of 2019 levels, and passenger load factors in Q2 increased from 47.3 percent in 2021 to 78.5 percent. Icelandair breaks down the different kinds of passengers it is transporting.
The market “to” Iceland was the largest for Q2 with 39% of all passengers, followed by the market “through” Iceland with 37%, travellers “from” Iceland with 16%, and domestic passengers “inside” Iceland with 8%.
Profitability dependent on flexibility
The second quarter’s profit was a significant step toward financial sustainability, according to Icelandair President and CEO Bogi Nils Bogason.
The network’s adaptability and sturdy architecture, he continued, enabled for a quick expansion in capacity to meet increased demand, improving load factors and yields despite the fuel price tripling between years.
“Despite persistent geopolitical and economic uncertainty, the prognosis for Q3 is positive due to robust bookings, and we anticipate that our schedule will be at or near 2019 levels in Q3 and at or near 90 percent in Q4 of 2022. It is encouraging to see such a robust demand for Icelandic goods and a strong transatlantic market recovery.”
In both Europe and North America, the airline has experienced problems with staffing shortages and airport disruptions. Although on-time performance was at 76 percent during Q2, the average number of full-time employees increased from 1,783 in Q1 to 3,188, which Icelandair attributes to airport issues and supply chain effects on aircraft availability.
Icelandair now operates nine Boeing B737 MAX 8 and four B737 MAX 9 aircraft on flights throughout Europe and North America, reaching as far as Orlando, Florida, and Seattle on the west coast.
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