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    Icelandair experiences passenger growth amidst declining seat utilization in January

    Icelandair Sees Passenger Increase but Faces Challenges in Seat Utilization

    Iceland, February 6, 2024: In January, Icelandair witnessed a significant uptick in passenger numbers, reaching 225,000, marking a 7% increase compared to last year. Despite this growth, the airline faced challenges with seat utilization, which decreased from the previous year’s 75% to 69%. The decline was attributed to the volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula, adversely affecting bookings and overall seat occupancy.

    The data revealed a mixed trend in passenger traffic types. There was a noticeable 9% drop in passengers arriving in Iceland, totaling 70,839, down from 77,516 in January of the previous year. Conversely, the airline saw a substantial 32% surge in connecting passengers—those traveling between Europe and America—reaching 91,485, up from 69,376 in the same timeframe last year.

    The volcanic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula garnered international attention, significantly influencing travel bookings for January, typically a crucial sales period for air travel. Despite these setbacks, Icelandair reported a slight improvement in the situation as the negative effects began to wane in the early weeks of the new year.

    The airline highlighted the Atlantic market’s resilience, with booking percentages considerably higher than the previous year, indicating a strong recovery momentum. Additionally, demand from the Icelandic market remains robust, suggesting a positive outlook for the airline moving forward.

    Icelandair’s punctuality in January was reported at 79.8%, slightly impacted by January’s weather conditions. This operational performance underscores the airline’s efforts to maintain service reliability amidst external challenges.

    As Icelandair navigates through these mixed outcomes, the focus remains on leveraging the strength in the Atlantic and Icelandic markets to offset the adverse impacts of the volcanic eruptions on seat utilization. With an optimistic view toward the future, the airline is poised to continue its recovery trajectory, capitalizing on the growing passenger numbers while addressing the challenges in seat occupancy.

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