The country’s airport operator reports a “significant increase in international passengers”.
Iceland’s airport operator Isavia has just issued official figures for the number of passengers at the country’s main airports in 2017.
Including all arriving, departing and transfer passengers, 8.76 million people passed through Keflavik Airport, which is a record number. The total increase from 2016 to 2017 was two million passengers, or 28%.
In recent years, passengers could be split evenly between arriving, departing and transfer, but in 2017, the number of transfer passengers rose proportionally more than those who entered the country.
Transfer passengers stood at just over three million, departing passengers at 2.82 million and arriving at 2.89 million.
The figures are consistent with Isavia’s passenger forecast, predicting 8.75 million passengers.
The stats also show that seasonal fluctuations continue to lessen and that the proportionally highest increase is outside the summer season.
This trend is “the result of a focused effort by the travel industry to increase winter tourism and Isavia’s incentive system, which provides a discount off landing charges for airlines that fly year-round,” the operator claims.
Isavia expects that in the future Keflavik will become more and more important for connecting flights between continents. According to its 2018 forecast, passengers will continue to rise in number, with 10.4 million expected in total, 40% of whom will be transfer passengers.
Elsewhere in Iceland
The ongoing boom in passengers flying to and from Keflavik has not been reflected in full in domestic flights, with passengers passing through airports other than Keflavik rising by 2% in 2017.
The biggest increase was at Akureyri Airport, where just under 206,000 passed through, a 9% rise on the previous year. There was also an increase at Egilsstaðir Airport, which 99,000 passengers used, 2.4% more than in 2016.