Icelandair flies more freight and domestic passengers

07.04.2021 - 14:09
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Bjarni Rúnarsson - RÚV
Icelandair flew more cargo this March than it did last March, even though it flew just 7,800 international passengers—which was 94 percent fewer than March 2020. These are among the highlights of the airline’s latest statement to the stock exchange.

The statement yesterday says the overall passenger load factor was 27,7 percent last month, compared to 61.9 percent a year earlier—a month in which the pandemic was already having a serious impact on travel.

Despite low passenger numbers, Icelandair has been operating Boeing 767 jets on some passenger routes instead of the Boeing 757, because the bigger planes can carry more freight. Using the larger planes makes the load factor (the percentage of seats being used) look even worse, the statement explains. 

Icelandair’s cargo operation grew by 36 percent in March, and by 12 percent between years so far in 2021. 

The number of passengers flying is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic and the travel restrictions in place in Iceland and the other countries the airline serves. Icelandair brought 4,300 people to Iceland in March and carried 3,300 people out of Iceland. The number of available seats was 89 percent smaller this March than last March. 

During the same one-year period, the number of domestic flight passengers increased by 52 percent and 16,000 people flew domestically with Icelandair (or Air Iceland Connect before the brand was merged into the main airline) this March. The provision of domestic flights grew by 36 percent and flights to and from Greenland are now counted as international flights after the merger of Air Iceland Connect into Icelandair. 

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