Icelandair was named the CAPA Regional Airline of the Year at the 2016 CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence, held on 27-Oct-2016 in Amsterdam as part of the ACTE-CAPA 2016 Global Summit. This award is given to the regional airline that has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and demonstrated innovation in the regional aviation sector. This award is intended to recognize smaller airlines or airline groups with annual passenger traffic of less than 10 million.
Icelandair CEO Birkir Holm Gudnason accepted the award from Travelport Senior VP & MD Air Commerce Group Derek Sharp.
Icelandair was selected by the judging panel for its strong performance in a small market that has experienced intensifying LCC competition. Icelandair has grown rapidly and has one of the highest operating margins among legacy airline groups.
“Icelandair has achieved remarkable results and growth in the face of strong and growing LCC competition,” Mr Harbison said. “Its innovative connecting traffic strategy, which focuses on sixth freedom traffic between Europe and North America, has driven growth along with its promotion of Iceland as a tourist destination.” CAPA noted that Icelandair Group’s passenger traffic was up 16% in 2015 while its net profit improved by over 60%. Such growth and profitability levels are unusual for a small European full service airline.
About the CAPA, Heidrick & Struggles and the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence:
Established in 1990, CAPA – Centre for Aviation is the leading provider of independent aviation market intelligence, analysis and data services, covering worldwide developments. Heidrick & Struggles is a premier professional services firm providing executive search, culture shaping and leadership consulting services. It has a specialist aviation team which works with airline, airport and the broader aviation industry, clients across the globe. The CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence have recognised strategic leadership in the aviation industry since 2002.