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Updated forecast predicts more increase in passenger numbers through Keflavik Airport

Updated forecast predicts more increase in passenger numbers through Keflavik Airport

–A targeted marketing gives a better distribution of passengers

There is no slow down in the number of passengers travelling through Keflavík Airport. When including final changes to the flight schedule for 2016 for airlines flying to and from Keflavík Airport, it now looks like even more passengers will travel through the airport than Isavia’s previous passenger forecasts, from November 2015, predicted. An updated forecast indicates that 6.66 million passengers will travel through Keflavík Airport in the year 2016, while the previous forecast predicted 6.25 million passengers. This amounts to a 37% increase from 2015, when a total of 4.86 million passengers travelled through the airport. When looking only at foreign travellers to Iceland the passenger forecast of November last year predicted that they would amount to around 1.5 million, but now the predicted number would appear to be around 1.7 million.

Passengers travelling through Keflavík Airport:


Total number of passengers

(arriving, departing and transfers)

Foreign travellers to Iceland







2016 (forecast)

6,660,380 (forecast)

1,730,967 (forecast)

The increase in passenger numbers beyond what was earlier forecast fall mostly outside of peak hours, both daily peak hours and also seasonal, with the largest increase forecast from September to the end of the year.

Isavia has taken various measures to manage the increase in traffic. For example the number of employees has been expanded beyond previous targets and a 3,000 square metre building is in construction to accommodate an expanded baggage handling capacity. By summer 2016 the airport will have been expanded in many other respects and will be around ten thousand square metres larger than it was in the beginning of summer 2015. Additionally the workflow has been improved by increasing automation, improving facilities and expanding the number of airport workers. In 2016 construction projects will commence at Keflavík Airport at a total cost of ISK 20 billion, which will increase efficiency even more and improve the flow of people within the airport in coming years.

“This is good news and clear evidence that our marketing and tourist services have met their expected goals,” says Björn Óli Hauksson, the director of Isavia. “We have attempted to exert control by means of an incentive system whereby airlines see an advantage in flying to Iceland in the winter season, and this measure has been successful. We have furthermore marketed our time slots towards the airlines outside of the busiest peak hours in each 24-hour period. In this way we make the best possible use of the investment which has been made in Keflavík Airport, and despite the airport's capacity being full during peak hours it is possible with improved distribution of traffic to increase the number of foreign travellers to Iceland with positive effects in foreign currency flowing into the national economy.“

The large increase in passengers has necessitated a major redevelopment, and according to the Keflavík Airport Masterplan the airport will, when the redevelopment is complete, be able to receive 14 million passengers a year, while maintaining the current spread of passengers across the course of the 24-hour period. The redevelopment will however be carried out in phases so as to meet the increase in passenger numbers in the best possible manner.