According to the passenger forecast, it is assumed that passengers passing through Keflavík International Airport in 2022 will be just over 5.7 million, which is about 79% of the number that passed through the airport in 2019, i.e. before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 162% more than passed through the airport last year. The recovery in the number of passengers during the high summer and into the autumn is expected to be 93% in July, 91% in August and 98% in September. Almost 700 more passengers are expected to pass through Keflavík International Airport in October this year than in the same month in 2019.
The number of transfer passengers is expected to almost double in May and increase steadily until the autumn. Two airlines now offer connecting flights between Europe and North America via Keflavík International Airport. In addition to Icelandair, Play launched flights to North America in April. The passenger forecast predicts that there will be almost 1.5 million transfer passengers for the whole of 2022; this number was just over 2 million in 2019 and 350 thousand last year.
“Isavia has not issued a passenger forecast since before COVID-19 due to the great uncertainty that has prevailed,” says Grétar Már Garðarsson, director of airlines and route development at Isavia. “Recovery is faster than we expected,” says Grétar. “According to the passenger assumptions we made at the beginning of February, the total number of passengers at Keflavík Airport was expected to be almost 4.6 million. Now that number has risen by more than one million.”
The airlines flying to and from Keflavík International Airport this summer will be 24, compared to 25 airlines in the summer of 2019. There are now 75 destinations this summer; this number was 80 in the summer months of 2019. Grétar says that Isavia expects the number of tourists in Iceland this year to be in the range of 1.4–1.5 million. Previous forecasts assumed 1.2 million passengers.
“The world is opening up after the pandemic, and the tourism industry is waking up after a difficult period,” says Grétar. “We at Isavia are optimistic about the summer and the future. In 2022, we will reclaim the joy of travel. This will also be one of the largest construction years in the history of Keflavík International Airport. We are expanding and improving the terminal to be able to welcome passengers even better in the future.”