Skip to main content
2023 busy at KEF Airport

2023 busy at KEF Airport

December was a busy month at Keflavík Airport (KEF) as only twice before have there been more visitors at the airport in the Christmas month, in 2017 and 2018. 519,239 visitors passed through Keflavík Airport in December as 18 airlines flew to 60 destinations. London was the most popular destination in the Christmas month, followed by Copenhagen, New York, Manchester and Boston.

In 2023, was the third largest travel year at KEF, with the total number of visitors to the airport was 7,750,091, and there have not been more since 2018. This is a significant increase between years, as the number of visitors increased by 26.5% from 2022, when they were 6,126.000. The percentage of connecting passengers in 2023 was 27.5% compared to 25.1% the previous year. July 30 was the biggest day of the year when the airport community welcomed 35 thousand visitors to KEF. Overall, there were 28 airlines and 95 destinations in 2023. 

The most popular destinations of 2023

Copenhagen and London were by far the most popular destinations last year. The most frequent flights were to Copenhagen Airport, but three airlines fly between them all year round. However, London was the destination most often flown to, with seven airlines flying there at four airports.

Most tourists from the United States

Departures of foreign passengers from the country via Keflavík Airport were around 2.2 million in 2023, according to information from the Norwegian Tourism Agency. Of them, Americans were the most numerous or about 28.3%, followed by the British with about 12.5%. There were almost half a million more foreign tourists in 2023 than in 2022, which is a 31.1% year-on-year increase. Foreign tourists have been higher once before, in 2018 when they were over 2.3 million.

Icelanders travelled frequently

The departure of Icelanders was around 591 thousand in 2023, or around four thousand more than in 2022. The increase amounts to 0.8% between years. Most of the departures took place in July, when almost 71 thousand Icelanders went abroad. This is the fourth largest travel year for Icelanders when it comes to foreign trips, with their departures measuring around 619 thousand in 2017, 668 thousand in 2018 and 611 thousand in 2019.

Most flights in August

Most passenger flights were on August 3, when 215 passenger planes landed or took off at Keflavík Airport. The largest number of departures were in August 2023, about 282 thousand in number, or almost 39 thousand more than in August 2022. The second most were in July 2023, about 275 thousand or about 41 thousand more than in the same month in 2022.

8.5 million passengers in 2024

Passenger forecast KEF 2024 expects that the number of visitors to the airport will increase between years and will be almost 8.5 million. The forecast assumes that almost 2.4 million foreign tourists will arrive in Iceland via the airport. If the forecast is correct, the year 2024 will be the second largest in the history of Keflavík Airport and the largest in the arrival of foreign tourists to Iceland.