Volcanic eruption media coverage hits Icelandair bookings

Global media coverage of the seismic activity and volcanic eruption had a “significant negative impact” on Icelandair bookings.

This affected the final quarter of 2023, described by the carrier as a “very important” sales period for flights in January. 

“This negative development has eased during the first weeks of the year,” the airline added.

It pointed out that the eruption in the southwest of Iceland in November did not impact its flight schedule.

But its load factor in January was affected, coming in at of 69.4%, despite monthly passenger numbers rising by seven per cent year-on-year to 225,000.

Almost a third (31%) were travelling to Iceland, 20% from the country and eight per cent domestically. However, the largest proportion at 41% were using Iceland as a connecting point between Europe and North America.

The on-time performance of 79.8% was “somewhat impacted” by weather in January.

Icelandair said: “Although the seismic activity and volcanic eruption in the southwest of Iceland in November had no effect on Icelandair’s flight schedule, global media coverage of the events did have a significant negative impact on bookings in the fourth quarter of 2023.”


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