Icelandic legacy carrier Icelandair remains “cautiously optimistic” about the next year, as it plans some moderate growth despite the current inflationary headwinds.
“We are in a very good position,” chief executive Bogi Nils Bogason told City A.M. today. “We can be more flexible and focused depending on how our economies are developing.
“[However] people are eager to travel and are eager to visit friends and family.”
Just last week, the airline posted its third quarter results, reporting a 91 per cent EBIT increase to $92.7m.
Icelandair’s passenger revenue soared to a record $408.3m while load factor went up by 19 percentage points to 87.6 per cent.
“That clearly depicts the strength of our own network and business model,” Bogason said.
Despite operating in four different markets, Icelandair’s focus is its home country, as the airline offers trips to, from, via and within Iceland, covering a total of more than 45 destinations.
Through its stopover model, Icelandair connects European destinations such as London to North America via Reykjavik.
In London, the carrier was slightly affected by this summer’s travel chaos, which forced the likes of Heathrow and Gatwick to put caps on passengers and flights.
The chief executive told City A.M. that, while it had to move and cancel a handful of flights, Icelandair wasn’t worried about Heathrow introducing new measures to ensure smooth operations during the peak Christmas period.
“We will just try to manage as best as we can for our passengers, just like we did last summer,” the executive explained.
When asked about changing its stopover model, Bogason said Icelandair was not considering direct flights between Europe and North America, “[because] it’s just not part of our business.”
“Iceland is a very attractive tourist destination,” he said. “And being able to add another country or another city to people’s vacation is a great product that we offer.
Nordic budget airline Norse made the headlines earlier this month when it announced it would launch direct flights between the UK and US after it received the greenlight from Washington.
Norse’s is the latest airline to offer low-cost long-haul flights after several companies over the last six decades have tried and failed to make the proposition work.