The management of Iceland’s domestic airline Air Iceland Connect (Flugfélag Íslands) plans to sell two of their six airplanes due to a decline in passengers, RÚV reports. Since the beginning of this year, domestic air passengers have dropped by 10% compared to the same time last year. Árni Gunnarsson, the company’s CEO, believes domestic flights will eventually recover.
Just three years ago, Air Iceland Connect purchased three Bombardier Q400 planes, considerably larger than the Dutch Fokker planes that made up their fleet. The company later acquired a smaller Bombardier Q200 when it sold its Fokker planes. Their fleet eventually became six Bombardier planes, four of which were Q400 models.
Foreign tourists decrease more than locals
While the airline’s overall number of passengers has decreased by 10%, the drop among foreign passengers is more drastic, in the range of 30-40%. Besides potentially selling two airplanes, the company plans to take other measures to address the lower number of passengers. These include reducing the frequency of trips to Egilsstaðir and Ísafjörður this winter, and using smaller planes when possible. Árni states the company does not plan to resort to layoffs, though if they prove necessary they will not be drastic.