Icelandair To Integrate Air Iceland Connect Into Airline

Icelandic flag carrier Icelandair will be integrating its operations with smaller airline Air Iceland Connect. Air Iceland Connect is a subsidiary of the Icelandair Group which operates domestic services within Iceland as well as scheduled flights to Greenland. However, certain roles and departments of Air Iceland Connect will soon be no longer as they get absorbed into Icelandair. The decision was announced earlier today by the Icelandair Group.
Icelandair To Integrate Air Iceland Connect Into Airline
Air Iceland Connect is a regional subsidiary of the Icelandair Group. Photo: Tony Hisgett via Flickr

What will integration look like?

With the decision to integrate, all support roles within Air Iceland Connect will be absorbed and taken on by Icelandair. Jobs include sales, marketing, operations, finance, HR and IT. However, the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of Air Iceland Connect, however, will remain separate while its crew members remain employed by the company.

Furthermore, the role of Managing Director of Air Iceland Connect will be discontinued. This means that Arni Gunnarsson, the Managing Director of Air Iceland Connect, will no longer have his current role. Instead, he will become Managing Director of Icelandair Group’s subsidiary, Iceland Travel. Aptly named Iceland Travel is a travel company, tour operator and destination management company in Iceland.

“As I thank Arni Gunnarsson for his valuable contribution in building up our regional flight operation over the past 15 years, I welcome him in his new role within the Company. At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bjorn Viglundsson for his significant contribution to Icelandair Group.“ -Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair Group.

We reached out to a spokesperson for the Icelandair Group to confirm that the two brands would remain separate. However, their response was that this remains an unknown and no decision has been made.

About Air Iceland Connect

Air Iceland Connect’s flights include services between Reykjavik and Isafjordur, Akureyri and Egilsstadir, as well as to Kulusuk, Narsarsuaq, Nuuk and Ilulissat in Greenland. The airline also offers flights to the Faroe Islands.

Icelandair To Integrate Air Iceland Connect Into Airline
Air Iceland Connect’s route map. Photo: Air Iceland Connect

All of the above services utilize the airline’s two Bombardier Q400s and three Bombardier Q200 airplanes. The five turboprop aircraft are fairly old – ranging from 19 to 24 years of age.

Icelandair 757
Icelandair’s fleet mainly consists of Boeing 757 aircraft. The airline has plans to replace these aging jets with the newer 737 MAX. The plan hinges on the recertification of the aircraft. Photo: Getty

The benefits of integration

It’s uncertain if this move was made as a result of the current global situation and the drastic slowdown in air travel or something that was in the works long ago.

However, this will certainly translate into cost savings for the Icelandair Group but probably at the cost of a number of Air Iceland Connect staff and their jobs. With only five turboprop aircraft, the company is quite small so its hard to know if integration will be a challenge or a fairly easy process.

Have you ever flown with Air Iceland Connect before? Let us know how your experience was by leaving a comment!