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July 23, 2024
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There have been several reports of the growth in LCCs over the North Atlantic.  Most recently the two Iceland-based airlines announced more new cities in the US they are planning to serve.   Iceland is rapidly making its primary airport the location for disruptive forces in the market.  This disruption is having an impact.

Why is Iceland a disruptive location?  Single aisle long hauls.  Norwegian and other EU-based LCCs do not have the same reach given an equivalent range.   Norwegian needs 787s to reach beyond the impact from Iceland.

The chart shows what a 3500NM range looks like from London Gatwick and Keflavik.  Norwegian’s MAX8 cannot reach into North America the same way as an equivalent A320 from Keflavik.

The carriers based in Iceland, flying west, have a similar advantage to what the ME3 have over the EU-based airlines flying east.  Aircraft range works flying east as well.  The Iceland-based airlines can penetrate the same EU-based markets.

What does the data show?  The data suggests the Iceland-based airlines have started to grow quickly over the past few years.  The growth spurt is clear.

But if we show this data by percentages (2017 through July)  we can see the growth is in the transit segment.

The growth area is transit traffic.  This shows the hub impact that Keflavik is having.   The hub growth is recent and might mimic the growth at WOW Air, which started North American service in 2015.

Finally, the airport’s own data shows the impact of the more range capable single aisle aircraft.

While Dubai might be a wide body oriented market that has disrupted network airlines flying east from Europe, Iceland is now starting to have the same effect flying west across the North Atlantic.

author avatar
Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

1 thought on “Is Keflavik becoming the North Atlantic’s Dubai?

  1. But this is what the A321LR is for and as Norwegian told me recently it is why that carrier changed its order for 100 A320neos to specify 30 of them as A321LRs instead. Norwegian itself intends to operate those aircraft on services from Europe deep into North America, adding new cities at both ends to its network. Norwegian also intends its A321LRs to serve cities in Asia and Africa from Europe and here it has a distinct advantage over the Keflavik hub strategy that Icelandair and WOW Air are employing. The same goes for Aer Lingus, Primera Air and any other European carrier that decides to operate A321LRs.

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