Icelandair’s schedule for 2014 is the biggest in the company‘s history, increasing by 18% from this year. Three new destinations will be added and frequency will be increased to several cities in North America and Europe. The number of passengers is estimated to be at over 2,6 million in 2014, compared to just under 2.3 million this year. Additionally, three Boeing 757 aircraft will be added, enlarging our fleet from 18 to 21 aircraft.
Icelandair has seen strong organic growth in the past few years, and as a result our 2014 schedule will be double in size from just five years ago. Departures from Iceland have grown from 4,500 in 2009 up to 9,000 next year, and passenger numbers will have grown from 1.3 million in 2009, to an estimate of 2.6 million in 2014, a 50% increase.
Besides opening up routes to Edmonton, Vancouver and Geneva, Icelandair will add frequency to most of its current destinations. Twenty-one weekly flights will be added on European routes and 14 weekly flights to North America, bringing our 220 weekly departures from Iceland this year to 255 departures next summer.
“We plan to use continuing opportunities for growth next year“, says Birkir Hólm Guðnason, Icelandair CEO. „Our aim is to strengthen further our position on the North Atlantic market where we have been growing. We are also aiming for continued growth for Icelandic tourism and this enlarged network gives Icelandair new and exciting possibilities for travel and for doing business“, Birkir says.
Flights to Edmonton, capital of Alberta, will start March 26, 2014 and continue until January 2015, with service four times a week. The Edmonton economy is strong with the 1.2 million inhabitants enjoying the rich natural resources of the area, creating a vibrant science and academic community. “We think we can offer very competitive service between Europe and Edmonton and are aiming for a full year service to the city“, says Birkir. Both Edmonton and Alberta have a sizable Scandinavian population, including large numbers of Icelandic descent. In addition Edmonton has the largest shopping mall in North America.
The Vancouver twice weekly flights start May 13, 2014 and continue until October 12, 2014. Vancouver, western Canada‘s largest city with a population of 2.3 million, is often voted the most beautiful and best city to live in the world. „Our flight to Seattle, south of the border on the west coast of the US, has been a success for us and we hope the Vancouver route will give us added possibilities, especially in connecting to Scandinavian destinations“, says Birkir. “In addition we can expect tourism from Vancouver to Iceland and we know the city will be popular among Icelanders“.
The Geneva service starts May 24, 2014 and continues twice weekly until September 23, 2014. Geneva is a historic city and center for many international organizations with a multinational population of 1.1 million situated close to the French border. „We started a successful service to Zurich this spring and we will be adding frequency next year. The Geneva service is our answer to the demand in the Switzerland market for tourism flights to Iceland“, says Birkir.