Air Greenland and Iceland’s flag carrier, Icelandair, have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to increase their cooperation by means of improved connectivity. Let’s look closely at what the two nordic airlines have in store.
The two airlines have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to increase their connectivity, as the pair believe they will both benefit from improved cooperation.
Once the partnership becomes effective, Air Greenland’s network will be merged with that of Icelandair; whereas the former focuses on Greenland, the latter entails many international and intercontinental destinations from Keflavik International Airport (KEF). With the merger of the two airlines’ networks, connectivity to/from, via, and within Greenland and Iceland will improve, benefiting both airlines and their customers.
By merging the two networks, Icelandair and Air Greenland will offer enhanced connectivity to/from, via, and within Iceland and Greenland. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying
Icelandair has already moved the first steps towards the realization of this partnership; indeed, Iceland’s national carrier has integrated its regional operations with its international network by moving Greenland-bound flights from Reykjavik Airport (RKV) to Keflavik International Airport. Consequently, the airline now provides more convenient connections for its passengers originating in Europe, North America, and Iceland and bound for Greenland; additionally, Icelandair’s domestic and international network will be more easily accessible to Air Greenland’s customers.
The rationale for the partnership
The rationale for this partnership is summarized in the words pronounced by Bogi Nils Bogason, Icelandair’s CEO, who commented:
With better connectivity to Air Greenland’s comprehensive route network in Greenland and to Icelandair’s hub at Keflavik International Airport we will be able to offer seamless connections between Greenland and our extensive network in Europe and North America.
Bogason clarified how the partnership lays its foundation in two main benefits: first, Icelandair will leverage Air Greenland’s local knowledge and investment in infrastructure. At the same time, Air Greenland will access Icelandair’s broad sales and distribution network in Europe and North America.
Air Greenland will benefit from Icelandair’s wide sales and distribution network covering Europe and North America. Photo: AgainErick via Wikimedia
On the other hand, Air Greenland’s CEO, Jacob Nitter Sørensen, highlighted the benefits its airline will get from this increased cooperation with Icelandair. First, enhanced connectivity to Icelandair’s international routes translates into better accessibility for Greenland, making the country more accessible to business and leisure travelers. Subsequently, the partnership with Icelandair will provide more opportunities for Greenland’s nationals to reach international and intercontinental destinations via Keflavik International Airport more conveniently.
Air Greenland and Icelandair in numbers
According to the Official Airline Guide, Icelandair is the largest carrier operating at Keflavik International Airport, with a frequency share of 57% and 1.6 million seats deployed between January and September 2022.
According to OAG, Air Greenland operates only two international destinations, Keflavik International Airport and Copenhagen International Airport (CPH). However, between January and September 2022, Air Greenland deploys just 1.2% of its international capacity, measured in Available Seats Kilometres (ASKs), to Keflavik, whereas the remaining capacity is destined for Copenhagen International. On the other hand, the busiest Greenland-bound destination for Icelandair is Nuuk (GOH), Greenland’s capital city, followed by Kulusuk Island (KUS) and Ilulissat (JAV).
Icelandair is the leading connecting carrier for Europe-originating traffic bound for Greenland. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying
Over the summer months of 2022, Keflavik International Airport was the busiest connecting airport for Europe-originating passengers traveling to Greenland, with a total market share of 42%. Icelandair was the most used airline from Europe to Greenland, with an estimated number of connecting passengers of 3,961 between June and August 2022.
Simple Flying reached out to Icelandair and Air Greenland for further comment. We will update the article with any additional announcements from the airline.
Do you think the partnership between Icelandair and Air Greenland will be successful? Let us know in the comment section below!