Air Iceland Connect to reduce its fleet by one third

Reykjavik, Iceland - The Icelandic regional airline operator Air Iceland Connect, formerly Flugfélag, is planning to reduce the number of aircraft in the fleet by one third.

The carrier currently operates two De Havilland Dash-8-200 (formerly Bombardier Q200) and four Dash-8-400 (formerly Bombardier Q400).

The company management decided to reduce the number of aircraft in the fleet from six to four because of the decline in passenger demand.

Since the beginning of the year, the domestic passenger demand dropped by 10% compared to the same period of last year. This proportion is even higher among foreign tourists with 30 - 40 percent.

Arni Gunnarsson, the managing director of Air Iceland Connect, however, believes that demand for domestic flights will recover soon.

Only three years have passed since the company acquired its Bombardier Q400s, which are considerably larger than the six Fokker 50 that were previously operated by the company.

Flugfélag Fokker 50

The sales of one Dash-8-400 and one Dash-8-200 are now being considered, Gunnarsson told local media.

The company responds to the contraction in various ways other than sales of the planes, by reducing flight frequencies to some destinations and by using smaller -200s instead of larger -400 where possible.

The reduction in staff currently is not in the company's agenda, but it would be unavoidable if the airline sells two of the planes in the fleet Gunnarsson said.