The state intends to make up for the loss of Icelandair, due to cancellation of flights to Europe and the United States, RÚV reported. At a government meeting on Friday, 27 of March, it was decided to agree with Icelandair that the airline will continue to fly to Boston, and London or Stockholm, to secure transportation to and from the country. The agreement, which was signed on Friday evening, has already entered into force.
“There are at least six trips in each place over the next three weeks while these closures have been specified around us,” says the Icelandic Minister of Transport Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson. He added that the agreement may be extended.
According to him, the state will pay around 100 million ISK (707 000 USD, 640 000 Euro, converted by Islandsbanki). “We have estimated this in the range of seventy million-plus and a maximum of one hundred million. This is for a certain amount of time while this lasts and so the situation needs to be taken back if it continues,” says Sigurður.
CEO of Icelandair Group Bogi Nils Bogason says losses will be faced with the airline in the coming weeks. “We just think it’s important that the company keep these connections going. It is important to get the state involved, even if only partially,” says Bogi. “We have to see how demand is, how many passengers are taking advantage of this and how much revenue is derived from each flight. This is done afterwards,” he says.
Only one Icelandair plane departed from Keflavik Airport to London on Monday, 30 of March. Usually, the airline performs 5-6 flights on this route per day. Other 31 flights operated by the company have been cancelled. The situation is similar for the next days.
“We have been managing this so that we are changing flights and taking out flights with 48 hours notice, but now next week we will change this and look seven days ahead,” says Bogi.