As an airline, Icelandair traces its roots to the year 1937 when a fledgling airline, Flugfélag Akureyrar, was founded at Akureyri on the north coast of Iceland.
In 1940 the company moved its headquarters to the capital, Reykjavík, and changed its name to Flugfélag Íslands, which then later assumed the international trade name Icelandair.
Another important milestone was passed in 1944, when three young Icelandic pilots, returning from flight training in Canada, founded Loftleidir, later also known as Icelandic Airlines.
Initially, both companies concentrated on Icelandic domestic air services. However, in 1945 Flugfélag Íslands made its first international flights to Scotland and Denmark. Loftleidir began international operations in 1947, and its pioneering low-fare services across the North-Atlantic commenced in 1953.
In 1973 Flugfélag Íslands and Loftleidir merged under a new holding company, Flugleidir. In October 1979 Flugleidir assumed all operating responsibilities of its two "parents", and decided to use Icelandair as its international trade name, only retaining the Flugleidir name in the Icelandic domestic market.
On the 50th anniversary of the company in 1987 a breakthrough agreement was signed with the Boeing company to renew the fleet of Icelandair that served international flight. A new generation of Boeing jets, Boeing 757-200 and 737-400 replaced the older fleet gradually from 1989 to 1993, and then a single type fleet of Boeing 757 was established in the years preceding 2003
In January 2003 Flugleidir became a holding company with 11 subsidiaries in the travel and tourism industry in Iceland, Icelandair being the largest subsidiary.
In 2005 the name Flugleidir was changed to FL Group and the holding company announced its emphasis on investment.
In May 2005, a Boeing 767 aircraft was incorporated into Icelandair's route network serving San Francisco, the airline's first destination on the US west coast.
In October 2005, fundamental changes to the FL Group took place where investments became the focus of FL Group and its acquisitions and corporations were divided into groups – the Icelandair Group being one of them.
In December 2006 Icelandair Group was listed as ICEAIR on the Iceland Stock Exchange after being sold from FL Group.
On June 3, 2007 Icelandair Group celebrated 70 years of operations.
During the second half of 2007 Icelandair Group expanded to the Czech Republic by purchasing the majority of the stock in Travel Service a.s.
Icelandair has been a member of IATA (International Air Transport Association) since 1950, a member of AEA (Association of European Airlines) since 1957, and a member of FSF (Flight Safety Foundation) since 1966.
Icelandair is a part of Icelandair Group, listed on the NASDAQ OMX Iceland as ICEAIR, a holding company with 12 subsidiaries focused on the airline and tourism sectors. The Group has two main business areas. Iceland is the focus of Scheduled Airline and Tourism, with the international airline Icelandair, Icelandair Ground Services (IGS) Icelandair Cargo, Iceland Travel, Air Iceland and Icelandair Hotels. Capacity Solutions offer broad worldwide aviation services with Loftleidir Icelandic, Travel Service, SmartLynx, Bluebird Cargo, and Icelease. The Group's financial services are handled by Fjarvakur.
Icelandair operates a fleet of Boeing 757 jets on its scheduled routes, with recently renovated interiors, seats and entertainment systems. Icelandair’s entire fleet is fitted with comprehensive safety equipment, in many cases exceeding the general requirements of international flight regulations. The planes also meet the strictest international environmental requirements, regarding both noise limits and the emission of harmful substances.
Icelandair and its forerunners, Flugleidir, Flugfélag Íslands and Loftleidir, have been involved in flight operations since 1937, and established international routes in 1945. The fleet included turbojets from 1957 and jets from 1967. Between 1989 and 1992 the company replaced all of its planes, introducing new Boeing 737-400 and 757-200 jets. Today, Icelandair uses Boeing 757-200 and Boeing 757-300 jets for scheduled flights, and the company also oversees flights for other companies within Icelandair Group. Most of the fleet is assigned to providing conventional scheduled flights between Iceland and other countries, although some planes are leased to a number of domestic and foreign charter projects.
We have accumulated a long and valuable experience in both domestic and international air transportation. We have been a member of IATA (International Air Transport Association) since 1950, of AEA (Association of European Airlines) since 1957, and FSF (Flight Safety Foundation) since 1968. All of these international organizations are actively engaged in furthering air safety.
Icelandair as an airline is subject to the operations supervision of the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration. The Republic of Iceland has been a member of ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization) since 1947, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) since 1955 and JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) since 1990. The appropriate rules and regulations on air safety matters, issued by these international Government organizations, are applied in Iceland, which, as a member State of the EEA (European Economic Area), applies in principle the same aviation regulations as the EU (European Union).
The Icelandair fleet is equipped with the latest and most advanced communications and navigation equipment, as well as a full range of required safety systems including ACAS (Airborne Collision Avoidance System) and enhanced TAWS (Terrain Avoidance Warning System).
As part of our on-going policy of providing the best customer services possible, we continue to invest in new aircraft, equipment and facilities as well as in continued training of operations and technical personnel to ensure the highest level of air safety.
All Icelandair pilots have received extensive basic and advanced flight training both in Iceland and abroad, and are rigorously tested every six months in flight simulator facilities in Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Our cabin attendants also receive comprehensive initial and recurrent training regarding their safety functions on-board, as well as their service tasks.
The central flight dispatch office, located in the Leifur Eiríksson International Terminal at Keflavík Airport, is responsible for flight planning and also maintains a constant flight watch over all of the company's flights.
Aircraft are maintained by Icelandair Technical Services at the maintenance facility at Keflavík Airport, Iceland, in full accordance with the procedures prescribed by the manufacturers and as authorized by the Icelandic CAA. The maintenance facility has been approved in accordance with the so-called JAR-145 rules for maintenance organizations.