Icelandair releases its traffic data for March 2023

And Icelandair Boeing 737 approaches to land.
MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Icelandic flag carrier, Icelandair has released its traffic and passenger figures for March 2023.

From the start, the airline has reported a significant increase in its passengers carried compared to March 2022.

For March 2023, the airline carried 255,000 compared to 184,000 in March 2022, which represents a 38% increase.

On top of this, overall capacity offered by the airline was up 27% compared to March 2022. This shows a strong recovery coming out of the pandemic, with more routes having been added and increased demand to support this.

Breaking the figures down into regions, international flights saw a 43% increase compared to March 2022. Overall 230,000 passengers were transported over 161,000 the previous year.

This figure is important for Icelandair, since the vast majority of its passenger traffic comes from international flights.

Breaking the figures down further, the airline reported that of these 230,000 international passengers, 118,000 were arriving into Iceland and 45,000 were departing Iceland.

Furthermore, 67,000 passengers were “via” passengers, using their Keflavik hub as a stop over point on their way between Europe and the USA and vice versa.

These transiting passengers also represent an important figure for the airline, as it is very well known a lot of people like to use Iceland as a stopping point on their long haul travels to break up the time in the air.


As for domestic passengers, the airline carried 25,000 passengers compared to 23,000 passengers in March 2022. This small increase makes sense for two reasons:

  1. Icelandair’s domestic route network is small
  2. Domestic flights naturally stayed busy during times of Covid restrictions, due to less of them in place compared to international.

Strong load factors across the board

Photo Credit: Enda Burke

International flights saw an incredibly strong figure with flights being 81.8% full on average. This figure represents an increase of 8.2 ppt year on year.

Out of the international flights, flights to North America saw the highest load factor performance, with flights being 86.7% full on average.

Indeed, this performance was so good it was in fact a record load factor for North American flights for the airline in March.

On time performance was also really good for international flights in March 2023, with 82% of flights leaving and arriving on time.

Domestic flight load factors also performed well, with such flights seeing an average of 76.3% full during the month of March.

As for on time performance, domestic flights generally did better than international flights with 90% of flights arriving and leaving on time.

Icelandair Cargo also saw increased performance

The new Icelandair Cargo Boeing 767 freighter takes off.
Photo Credit: Icelandair

Although a fairly small division within Icelandair, Icelandair Cargo has been seeing significant improvements throughout March 2023, compared to March 2022.

Overall, freight measured in Freight Ton Kilometers increased by 20% in contrast to March 2022.

This increase as stated by the airline was helped by the acquisition of a Boeing 767-300F, that it received at the end of last year.

This 767 joins the existing two Boeing 757-200Fs in the cargo fleet, with the airline looking to expand in the cargo field further in the future.

All in all the airline has seen a positive March for this year and with the summer season now in full swing the peak of such season around the corner, Icelandair is in for a successful year ahead.

By Lewis Chesworth 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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