Icelandair: Improved operating results in Q4 2021
Summary Q4 2021
The recovery of Icelandair’s operations continued in the fourth quarter with capacity in the route network
reaching 65% of Q4 2019 levels compared to 50% in the third quarter. Unit revenues in the quarter were
only 3% lower than Q4 2019 despite a significant negative impact from the Omicron wave in December
and lingering effects of the Delta wave in October. Total income totaled USD 193 million and more than
tripled compared to the fourth quarter 2020. The opening of the US borders for European travelers in
November was an important milestone allowing travel between all of Icelandair’s markets for the first
time since March 2020.
Icelandair carried around 545 thousand passengers in the fourth quarter 2021 compared to 52 thousand
in the same quarter 2020. The market “to” Iceland was the Company’s largest market and accounted
for 45% of total passengers. The load factor in the fourth quarter 2021 was 70.3% and improved by 1.9
percentage points compared to the third quarter despite the considerable negative impact of the
Omicron variant on travel in December. On-time-performance in the international route network was
78%. The hard work and resourcefulness of the Company’s employees ensured minimal disruption to
the flight schedule and smooth traveling for customers in the quarter, especially around the holiday
season when many of the Company’s employees were impacted by the Omicron variant.
Cargo operations continued to be strong with volumes and revenues exceeding pre-Covid levels,
especially on the transit market. Revenue from the Company’s leasing operation increased between
years although still being 60% of 2019 levels. Two of the leasing projects included 13 flights to Antarctica
with scientists and tourists. These flights were successful and required extensive preparation by many
departments within Icelandair, including flight and technical operations, maintenance, crew and training.
Net loss in the quarter was USD 39.4 million and decreased by USD 43.9 million compared to 2020.
EBIT improved between years by USD 24.6 million, which is the strongest EBIT result in the fourth
quarter since 2016. The market price of fuel was on average 12% higher than in Q3 and 91% higher
compared to Q4 last year. The Company’s financial position was strong at year-end with total liquidity
amounting to USD 435.0 million and equity ratio at 19%.
Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO
"The year 2021 was a year of recovery. After having focused on preserving our infrastructure, knowledge
and maintaining financial strength throughout the pandemic, we were in a strong position for an efficient
ramp-up as soon as passenger demand started to increase in 2021. Using our flexibility to adapt to the
situation at any given time, we went from serving only four destinations with 10 weekly departures from
Iceland early in the year to 200 departures a week to 34 destinations during the summer peak. The total
number of passengers on international and domestic flights was around 1.5 million and at the end of the
year we had reached 65% of our 2019 capacity. We also strengthened our team, recruiting almost one
thousand employees during the year. Our cargo services continued to return good results in 2021 with
both volumes and revenue exceeding pre-Covid levels. Although our leasing operation was challenging
during the year, we seized new opportunities on this front that contributed greatly to the Company’s
revenue generation. At the same time as we ramped up our services, we took strategic actions to
streamline and simplify our operations and further strengthen our focus on our core business, aviation.
This included the integration of Air Iceland Connect, our domestic flight operation, into Icelandair, the
sale of Iceland Travel and completing the sale of Icelandair Hotels. Our clear goals and focused strategy
resulted in a strong recovery and robust financial position at the end of the year.
Sustainability is at the center of our strategy, and we monitor our economic, social and environmental
impacts throughout the year. It is a pleasure to announce ambitious new goals of reducing our carbon
emissions. In line with the airline industry’s goals, we have made a commitment to reach net zero
emissions by 2050. In addition, we have set a medium-term target of reducing our carbon emissions by
50% per operational ton kilometer by 2030 compared to 2019. Reaching these goals will require
continued efforts through a combination of measures, such as fleet renewal, operational improvements,
the implementation of sustainable aviation fuels as well as carbon offsetting. The implementation of the
Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into our fleet is an important contributor to reducing our emissions, in addition
to the operational efficiencies that they bring to our business and the great fit within our network and
future plans. We took delivery of three new MAX aircraft during the year and are receiving additional
five in 2022, bringing the total number of MAX aircraft to 14 this summer out of a total of 30 aircraft within
our international passenger network fleet.
To better reflect our ambitious strategy, focusing on digital transformation and customer experience, we
have made changes to our organizational structure and strengthened our team. With a clear strategy, a
robust financial position and an outstanding team of employees, I believe we are in a strong position to
take advantage of market opportunities and reach our primary post-pandemic objective to return to
sustainable operating results. We are aiming for a 3-5% EBIT ratio and to turn a net profit for the full
year 2022. However, various factors, such as possible continued impact of the pandemic on demand
and fluctuations in fuel price can affect the Company’s operations and financial results.
I would like to thank our employees for their sheer dedication and hard work, our shareholders for their
continued support and last but not least our customers for their trust throughout challenging times and
their encouragement as we step into a brighter future."
Webcast 4 February 2022
An investor presentation will be webcast in relation to the publication of the results at 8:30 GMT on
Friday, 4 February 2022, at http://icelandairgroup.is. Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair
Group, and Ivar S. Kristinsson, CFO, will present the Company’s results and answer questions. The
presentation and Q&A will take place in English. The presentation will be available after the meeting
on the Icelandair Group website: http://icelandairgroup.is and under Company News on:
In line with the ESEF requirements, the primary statements can be found in the .zip file.
Investors: Iris Hulda Thorisdottir, Director Investor Relations. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media: Asdis Petursdottir, Director Communications. E-mail: email@example.com