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ICX-2005-12-A STERLING SALE
ICX-2006-02 PARENT ORGANIZATION-A
Formed in 2002 and started operations in 2003. International, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
Efstalandi 26 Grimsbe
IS-108 Reykjavik, Iceland
IS-108, Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland (the Republic of Iceland) was established in 1918, covers an area of 103,000 sq km, its population is 0.3 million, its capital city is Reykjavik, and its official language is Icelandic.
December 2002: In February 2003, 1 737-300 Astraeus (AUA) wet-leased to "Iceland Express" (ICX) for low-fare service from Keflavik to Copenhagen and London (Stansted). The Icelandic company was previously known as "Pro" and intended to operate to London (LHR).
March 2003: 737-300 Astareus (AUA) wet-leased to Iceland Express (ICX) has better than expected passenger bookings for Keflavik Airport near Reykjavik to Copenhagen and London Stansted with >90% Load Factor (LF) and more than 35% of bookings from passengers outside Iceland, according to Johannes Georgsson, Managing Director.
May 2003: 737-3YO (24910), Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) leased until September 2003, Astraeus (AUA) wet-leased to Iceland Express (ICX).
January 2004: Astraeus (AUA) will lease a 2nd 737-300 to Iceland Express (ICX) in April 2004.
November 2004: 75 employees.
May 2005: 73 employees (including 36 Cabin Attendants (CA)).
July 2005: Maersk Air (MRS) is to merge with Sterling (STR), Denmark, creating Europe's 4th-largest low-fare airline after Ryanair (RYR), easyJet (EZY), and Air Berlin (BER). Currently, some 64 airlines serve Copenhagen in a home market of fewer than 10M.
The new owner of Maersk Air (MRS) is Fons Eignarhaldsfelag, an Icelandic investment group controlled by Palmi Haraldsson and Johannes Kristinsson, who purchased Sterling (STR) for # DKK 400M/$71.5M in March 2005 from Bonheur ASA and Ganger Rolf ASA. It also owns Iceland Express (ICX) and at one point was a large shareholder in Icelandair (ICE). The new owners named Almar Orn Hilmarsson, Managing Director, 32, ex-Iceland Express (ICX). Birgir Jonnson, becomes Managing Director, Iceland Express (ICX).
The merged airline will operate a fleet of 30 737-500/-700/-800's comprising 10 currently flown by (STR) and 20 belonging to (MRS). There is considerable route overlap, but the two serve 80 discrete destinations and carried a combined 5 Million passengers in 2004. (MRS) will continue to operate its airfreight business.
The two carriers employ 1,875 with 627 at (STR) and 1,248 at (MRS). Redundancies will occur in clerical and management staff, but significant layoffs are not anticipated among production staff such as flight crew (FC) and maintenance technicians (MT).
It will take another 2 months for the conditions to be finalized and the merger closed.
2 MD-82's (49555, TF-JXA; 49909, TF-JXB), JetX (JTX) wet-leased.
October 2005: Iceland Express (ICX) will start Reykjavik - Gothenburg services from May 17 using 737 Classics.
November 2005: Hello (HLO) will double its fleet from 3 to 6 MD-90s from the Spring. The additional 3 airplanes (53460; 53461; 53462) are ex-Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). The Swiss airline has also signed a deal which calls for the operation of 3 airplanes on behalf of Iceland Express (ICX) from Keflavik to a variety of destinations in Europe through 2008.
Iceland Express (ICX) by May will start 3X weekly service from Friedrichshafen to Reykjavik.
February 2006: Iceland Express (ICX) will launch a twice-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays) seasonal summer service from Akureyri (Iceland) to Copenhagen on May 30 through September 5th, using MD-90-30s.
May 2006: MD-90-30 (53460, HB-JID), Hello (HLO) wet-lesed.
July 2006: MD-82 (49555, TF-JXA), wet-leased to Sterling (STR).
October 2006: Iceland Express (ICX) will begin service to Paris Orly, Bergen, Oslo, Basel and Eindhoven for the summer 2007 schedule. It operates three MD-90s.
November 2006: Fons Eignarhaldsfelag investment firm of Iceland, which owns Iceland Express (ICX), has acquired a 51% stake in the UK's Astraeus (AUA) for £5 million. (AUA) operates four 757s and two 737-700s and is based at London Gatwick and Manchester International. Its board will be restructured, with a supervisory board comprising two representatives from Fons, one from (AUA) management and one from minority shareholder Aberdeen Asset Management. Fons said (AUA)'s revenue for the fiscal year ended October 31 is "expected to exceed" £100 million.
Sweden's FlyMe (FME) had agreed to take the 51% stake in Astraeus (AUA) in September, but the deal fell through when it did not receive UK (CAA) approval in a specified time. The Stockholm Stock Exchange issued a release warning (FME) for "announcing a business transaction in such a way that it seemed to be signed and sealed, despite this not being the case."
December 2006: Starting May 15, Keflavik - Paris Orly, 2/week; starting May 16, - Gothenburg, 1/week; starting May 18, - Oslo, 2/week; starting June 3 - Gothenburg, increasing to 2/week; - Paris Orly, increasing to 3/week; starting June 4, - Oslo, increasing to 3/week; starting June 6, - Bergen, 1/week; starting June 8, - Eindhoven, 2/week; & starting June 9, - Basel Mulhouse, 1/week. All flights use MD-90-30s.
June 2007: Iceland Express (ICX) is a low-cost airline serving Iceland from 13 destinations in Europe. Flights are operated with airplanes wet-leased from Swiss carrier Hello (HLO).
Employees = 75.
Parent organization/shareholders: Northern Travel Holding.
Main Base: Reykjavik Keflavik International airport (KEF).
International, scheduled destinations: Copenhagen; & London.
November 2007: Iceland Express (ICX) will increase its London Stansted - Keflavik service to 11-times-weekly from nine beginning February 26.
June 2008: Iceland Express (ICX) has announced a new London Gatwick (LGW) service to complement its London Stansted (STN) flights for the winter 2008 season. (ICX) has announced that ir will commence a five times per week rotation between (LGW) and Reykjavik from September 16, 2008. This is in addition to a winter flying program which includes a daily (STN) - Reykjavik rotation.
November 2008: Iceland Express (ICX) will launch eight-times-weekly, Keflavik - London Gatwick on May 1. It will cease flying to Stansted on April 30.
April 2009: 737-7L9 (28007, G-STRN), Astraeus Airlines (AUA) wet-leased.
August 2009: Iceland Express (ICX) said it will operate weekly, Reykjavik - Keflavik - Birmingham service for 13 weeks beginning in the 2010 summer.
September 2009: Iceland Express (ICX) will re-launch twice-weekly, Keflavik - London Stansted service in November. It moved to London Gatwick in May and will serve both airports.
(ICX) will operate seasonal weekly, London Gatwick - Akureyri service from June 2010. (ICX) will launch four-times-weekly service from Reykjavik Keflavik to Newark beginning in June 2010 aboard a 757-200 wet-leased from sister company Astraeus Air (AUA).
November 2009: Iceland Express (ICX), which will experiment with low-cost long haul flights to Newark next year, will also begin Reykjavik - Oslo service in June. (ICX) hopes to attract more foreign tourists now that the local currency has lost value.
December 2009: Iceland Express (ICX) will launch four-times-weekly, Keflavik (KEF) - Newark service on June 1 and weekly, (KEF) - Birmingham, UK and Akureyri - London Gatwick flights later that month.
January 2010: Iceland Express (ICX) will launch twice-weekly, Keflavik - Winnipeg service in June.
February 2010: Iceland Express (ICX) is adding new seasonal routes this summer season:
Reykjavik Keflavik - Gdansk: weekly seasonal 737-700 service starting on June 4 (operated by Astraeus (AUA);
Reykjavik Keflavik - Rotterdam: weekly seasonal 737-700 service starting on June 3 (operated by (AUA) and replacing its previous summer route to Eindhoven);
Reykjavik Keflavik - Winnipeg: 2x weekly seasonal 757-200 service starting on June 12 (operated by (AUA).
December 2010: Iceland Express (ICX) will operate Reykjavik service to Belfast via Edinburgh (twice-weekly, June 14 - August 30) and Dublin (weekly, June 10 - August 29).
May 2011: Two 757s and four 737s will be leased this summer from Astaeus Airlines (AUA).
October 2011: Iceland Express (ICX) has re-appointed Birgir Jonsson as (CEO) after a five-year break. Jonsson previously held the position from 2004 - 2006.
November 2011: Iceland Express (ICX) recruits Czech Airlines (CSA) for its wet-leased jet airplane source, after Astraeus Airlines (AUA) collapsed and ceased operations.
January 2012: Iceland Express (ICX) is planning to apply for its own air operator certificate (AOC) and to be operational as an independent airline by April 1. It has been forced to cancel its route to New York Newark and to change its operator on November 21 following the bankruptcy of partner Astraeus (AUA). Iceland Express (ICX) will also not resume its seasonal routes from Akureyri to Copenhagen Kastrup, from Reykjavik Keflavik to Aalborg, Almeria, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Edinburgh, Friedrichshafen, Innsbruck, Oslo Gardermoen, Stockholm Arlanda, Tenerife Sur, Winnipeg, and Zurich. It currently wet-leases A320-200s from Holidays Czech Airlines for its services between Iceland and European destinations.
March 2012: Iceland Express (ICX) and Holidays Czech Airlines (CSA) signed an Agreement on Cooperation (AOC) to provide Reykjavík service "to a series of European destinations." The Agreement "will start to apply" in the spring of 2013. HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines (CSA) will operate flights for Iceland Express (ICX) with A320-214s.
September 2012: Iceland Express (ICX) has announced plans to resume services to the United States in summer 2013 announcing Boston General Edward Lawrence Logan International airport (BOS) as its first destination. The virtual low-cost carrier (LCC) currently uses A320-200s from Holidays Czech Airlines for its its services from Iceland to Europe. It had previously served Boston, Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) and Winnipeg International (YWG) in North America until summer 2011, but had been forced to stop its flights there after the bankruptcy of sister carrier and previous wet-lease operator Astraeus (AUA).
Iceland Express (ICX) will launch Reykjavik service to Oslo and Frankfurt-Main next summer, but said it will cancel six “less successful” seasonal flights to Cologne, Gothenburg, Prague, Bologna, Basel, and Krakow.
October 2012: Icelandic low-cost carrier (LCC) Iceland Express (ICX) has been taken over by fellow Icelandic company WOW Air (WOW).
(ICX) said its Flight Operations had all been acquired by (WOW) and in the future will operate under (WOW) branding.
A spokeswoman for the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration (ICAA) said that although both carriers were based in Reykjavik, neither held Icelandic (AOC)s and therefore the (ICAA) was not involved in the takeover. Both companies were not airlines but “travel organizations” that did not possess their own airplanes but leased them from others, she said.
Such “virtual airlines” are popular in the Nordic countries. The “airline” is in fact a travel company selling tickets and handling administrative matters, while the flight operations are carried out by another operator.
Founded in 2003, (ICX) operates to seven European destinations and had planned to open a route to Boston in spring 2013; it has previously operated transatlantic services to New York and Winnipeg. Its two A320s were leased from (CSA) Holidays, a subsidiary of Czech Airlines (CSA). It said in autumn 2011, that it planned to gain its own (AOC) by the end of this year.
(ICX) is owned by Icelandic investment company Fengur.
(WOW) stated on its website: “The move is not a merger, it is a takeover, with (WOW) air acquiring the Iceland Express (ICX) route network, branding and customer base. It is expected that a proportion of (ICX)’s staff will be offered jobs with (WOW) Air — including some key management figures.”
“This acquisition will significantly boost (WOW) Air,” said Chairman, Skúli Mogensen.
(WOW) currently operates two A320s leased from Lithuanian carrier Avion Express (AVS). (WOW) intends to increase this to four in spring 2013 and expand both routes and frequencies.
(WOW) has stressed that it has not acquired Iceland Express (ICX) but will simply honor all tickets already sold by its competitor.
Potentially related, one of the A320-200s operated by Holidays Czech Airlines ((IATA) Code: HCC, based at Prague Ruzyne airport (PRG)) on behalf of (ICX) has been impounded at Keflavik due to unpaid landing fees at the airport.
The two virtual carriers already had both only planned a very limited operation in winter offering just routes from Keflavik to Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH) and London Gatwick (LGW) in (ICX)'s case and from Keflavik to Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) and London Gatwick in (WOW) air's case. Next summer, (WOW) air plans to also serve Alicante (ALC), Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), Barcelona El Prat International (BCN), Dusseldorf International (DUS), Frankfurt International (FRA), Lyon St Exupéry (LYS), Milan Malpensa (MXP), Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Stuttgart Echterdingen (STR), Vilnius International (VNO), Warsaw Fryderyk Chopin (WAW) and Zurich Kloten (ZRH). Barcelona, Frankfurt Hahn and Vilnius are the only three destinations (WOW) was not planning to serve anyway. (ICX) had previously also announced Boston General Edward Lawrence Logan International (BOS) and Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) as part of its summer program for next year.
August 2014: Icelandic authorities raised aviation alert levels to orange, after seismic activity around one of the country’s volcanoes was detected.
A swarm of more than >2,500 earthquakes in three days has been measured by Icelandic experts with the country’s meteorological office around the Barðarbunga volcano, that could indicate signs of an impending eruption.
Experts raised the alert level from yellow green to yellow on August 16, and then to orange on August 18 after the strongest earthquakes detected around the volcano since 1996.
While officials say there is no sign that magma has been detected moving to the surface, they say that increased activity has prompted them to raise the alert level, because in case of a sub-aerial eruption “an ash plume of potential concerns for aviation will be generated.”
Barðarbunga (one of Iceland’s largest volcanic systems) sits underneath a glacier and has shown signs of activity over the last seven years, but has not erupted since 1910.
Officials say this activity reduced after the eruption of the Grímsvötn volcano in 2011, which caused some limited disruption to air travel, although not as severe as that caused by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010, which caused major disruption to air travel across Europe and the USA.
However, the new wave of activity at Barðarbunga has already generated hundreds of earthquakes, with many over a magnitude of three on the Richter scale.
Since the 2010 eruption, Iceland has introduced a five-tier warning system for the aviation community, using colors to display possible activity: Gray indicates a quiet volcano and red indicates an eruption is imminent or in progress. The orange alert, issued for Barðarbunga indicates the volcano “shows heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption.”