Becoming an industry leader in responsibility


A letter from the President & CEO


Bogi Nils Bogason

President and CEO Icelandair Group

Aviation connects people, cultures and facilitates international relations, business and transport. For an island located in the middle of the North Atlantic, aviation is fundamental for us to connect to the world and maintain a good quality of life. However, like other modes of transport, aviation has an environmental impact, and as a company with almost five thousand employees that transport over four million passengers a year, we have to take our responsibility towards our people, customers, society and the environment seriously.

We at Icelandair Group have put sustainability at the top of our agenda. One of the five strategic initiatives we have set out as part of our new Company strategy is “to become and industry leader in responsibility”. We are committed to do what it takes to succeed in this area and have developed clear goals and action plans.

Read more

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2019, we developed a comprehensive strategy in corporate responsibility, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These goals have become a universal language of governments and businesses to work towards a more sustainable future. We have chosen four goals to focus on: Gender equality, Decent work and economic growth, Responsible consumption and production and Climate action.

Reducing CO2 emissions

The aviation industry is committed to minimising the impact on the environment with investments in new technology and innovation, by carbon offsetting, the development of biofuels and sharing best practices. At Icelandair, we have set ourselves ambitious targets of reducing long-term emissions from our flight operations and the ground. We have already taken a number of steps to reduce our carbon footprint and continue to work on improvements in this area. Icelandair Group is certified to the highest level of the IEnvA environmental certification programme of IATA and is one of the few airlines in the world that has environmental certification in almost all its operations.

Gender equality and responsible supply chain

We are proud to have received equal pay certification in September 2019 for the largest part of our operations. We also participated in an initiative introduced by IATA where we signed a commitment to promote gender equality within management and in flight-related roles. Furthermore, we have put a special emphasis on ensuring a responsible supply chain and sustainable procurement. Finally, as a large Icelandic employer and the leading airline of the country, we also recognise our responsibility in ensuring efficient air travel to and from Iceland and our role in the continued development of Icelandic tourism.

We look forward to continuing to work towards solving these challenges in the years to come in collaboration with our stakeholders. I am confident, that with our responsibility efforts, we will not only develop a more efficient, fair and transparent business, and a better place to work, but also contribute to a more sustainable future for us all.

Our approach to sustainability

Icelandair launched its new company strategy in 2019. Becoming a leader in responsibility by 2025 is one of five strategic initiatives in the new strategy, and hence, responsibility is an integral part of the strategy that is currently being implemented. The strategy has an overall focus on profitability, sustainable growth and responsibility.

On this background, Icelandair developed a new sustainability strategy in 2019 taking a starting point in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGS have become a universal language of governments, civil society and businesses to work towards a more sustainable future. As part of the process to define our strategic focus areas, we have conducted a large scale stakeholder dialogue, looked at benchmarks and trends, and identified Icelandairs positive and negative impacts on all targets and subtargets of the SDGs.

Our responsibility model

Strategic focus areas and key goals

Based on involvement of all functions and business units in Icelandair, we have chosen four Global Goals as our strategic focus areas. The focus areas represent areas where we can create shared value.

Icelandair has set specific targets for several of the focus areas, while a few are still being explored to better understand our current baseline. Targets for these areas will follow in 2020.

For each focus area, Icelandair has formed a working group to ensure action. Read more about the actions taken in 2019 and planned for 2020 in each section of the report.

I am very proud to work for a company that aims high and puts responsibility at the top of the agenda. The awareness about sustainability – the environment, social impact and good business practices is growing. We at Icelandair Group have to work together as one team to achieve our goal of becoming an industry leader in responsibility.

Guðrún Helga Heiðarsdóttir

CSR Manager

Stakeholder engagement

Icelandair has an ongoing dialogue and cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders through its business operations and customer engagement, which involves sustainability-related issues as well. We participate in a number of initiatives where we gain input for our overall strategy and approach to responsibility such as FESTA, the Icelandic Sustainability Network and the ‘25 by 25’ initiative with IATA and conferences such as the Equality Awards. Also, we participate in conferences, panel discussions and events focused on sustainability issues to listen to stakeholder perspectives and gain new information.

In 2019, we conducted a comprehensive responsibility-focused stakeholder dialogue based on ten in-depth discussions with individual key stakeholders such as NGOs, business partners, tourism industry and business associations. In addition, we conducted an online survey based on questionnaires for customers, employees and business partners. We have received inputs from almost 800 employees, 600 customers and 100 business partners, which has helped us understand the importance of sustainability overall as well as the importance of sustainability issues for Icelandair.

Our primary stakeholders

Business partners and suppliers



NGOs and business associations

Government and regulators

Tourism industry

What our customers, employees and business partners told us in 2019

According to


of stakeholders it is very important

that Icelandair works on responsibility

Customers rate Icelandair as one of the

top three airlines

in regards to corporate responsibility

Stakeholders rate

Health and safety of employees and customers and reducing CO2 emissions

as the most important issues for Icelandair to work on

Materiality assessment

Icelandair has performed a materiality analysis to identify our key economic, environmental and social issues. As background for the materiality analysis, we have worked with an industry benchmark, a trend analysis, a sustainability risk assessment and a mapping of our significant positive and negative impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as the results of our stakeholder dialogue.

The wider team representing all business areas within Icelandair has in a workshop format then validated the most material issues for Icelandair. All issues are covered in this report.

Material issues for Icelandair

  • Passenger safety and wellbeing
  • Climate impacts
  • Environmental impacts
  • Employee health and safety
  • Employee motivation and satisfaction
  • Competence development and training
  • Gender diversity
  • Economic contribution to the Icelandic economy
  • Responsible procurement
  • Business ethics and anti-corruption
  • Governance

The SDGs where we have the most significant impact

Icelandair Group's responsiblity strategy is based on the Sustainable Development Goals. The four key goals that were chosen represent areas where the Company concluded that it can have a significant impact and create shared value.

Goal 5: Gender Equality with a special focus on sub-goal 5.5 to ensure full participation in leadership and decision-making. Here, Icelandair Group focuses on the gender ratio at the management level, and among our pilots, flight crew and technical staff to work toward a more equal representation.

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth with a special focus on Iceland and 8.3 to promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises and 8.9 to promote beneficial and sustainable tourism. Here, Icelandair Group focused on understanding and increasing our positive economic contribution to the tourism sector in Iceland, and to the Icelandic economy as a whole as one of the country’s largest companies.

Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption with a special focus on our own operations 12.7 to promote sustainable procurement practises and on waste for 12.3 and 12.5 to halve global per capita food waste and substantially reduce waste generation. Here, Icelandair Group focused on promoting sustainable and responsible procurement practises for our different companies, and well as on working to reduce waste across our operations.

Goal 13: Climate Action with a special focus on our flight operations and land vehicles to ensure that we do all we can to limit our climate impact.

About the report

Icelandair presents its responsibility information in accordance with Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) standards, core level. The sustainability information presented in the responsibility report for 2019 has not been assured by an external party.

This report addresses all the material aspects reflecting Icelandair’s significant economic, environmental and social impacts. Those matters were identified and evaluated on the basis of a materiality assessment that involved input from the company’s main stakeholders. It describes Icelandairs opportunities, risks and progress made in the field of responsibility during 2019.

Icelandair is in cooperation with Klappir – Green Solutions to track and follow the environmental aspects of Icelandair, to foster the data, ensure traceability, integrity, transparency, usefulness and reliability of the data set.

This report covers the global activities of Icelandair Group.

Company SDGs Description of services
Icelandair 5,8,12,13 The largest entity of the group,the international passenger airline, including its subsidiary Icelandair Cargo
Icelandair Shared Services 5,8 The group‘s shared service center which will be merged into Icelandair ehf. in 2020.
Iceeignir 12 A real estate company that holds the real estate of Icelandair Group
Loftleidir Icelandic 5,8,13 Offers aircraft leasing and consulting services to international passenger airlines and tour operators
Iceland Travel 5,8 The largest incoming tour operator in Iceland
Air Iceland Connect 5,8,12,13 The domestic and regional carrier
Feria (Vita) 5,8,13 Operates under the name VITA as an outgoing tour operator
Icelandair Hotels 5,8,12,13 Offers quality hotels both in Reykjavík and around the countryside (will be sold in 2020)

The Sustainability Report refers to the period from January 1 to December 31, 2019.



Icelandair Group is an environmentally-conscious company aiming to set the standard high for safe and responsible aviation, and it is dedicated to minimising the environmental impact of its operations. The Company recognises the influence that air travel has on the environment by addressing its responsibilities to reduce emissions, conserve natural resources, as well as optimise the use of sustainable energy and recyclable materials. Icelandair is certified to the highest level of the IEnvA environmental certification program from IATA, which requires demonstration of ongoing environmental performance improvements. Icelandair Hotels are certified to the ISO14001 environmental standard.

IEnvA-RegisteredAirline-STAGE-2_Stamp_RGB_Minnkað copy.png

Sustainable business growth requires the Company to address its environmental impact, both globally and locally. As part of this effort, Icelandair Group participates in the work of various environmental working groups, such as with IATA, Airlines for Europe (A4E) and the Environmental Committee of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association. Icelandair Group participates in the incentive project of Responsible Tourism in Iceland along with over 300 companies, with the purpose of maintaining Iceland’s status as an optimal future destination for tourists by supporting sustainability for future generations.

Environmental impact

Icelandair Group’s environmental impact is not limited to its flight operations. It also involves ground facilities, offices, vehicles and maintenance areas. The company’s Environmental Policy describes approaches to protect and preserve the environment. All the Company’s employees are responsible for compliance with the policy. Management at all the Company's subsidiaries and entities have adopted guidelines and procedures to comply with the Company's Environmental Policy.

Icelandair Group's Environmental Policy

Minimizing the environmental impact of our operations is an important part of Icelandair Group's business plan.

We are focues on keeping Icelandair Group green by employing sustainable practices and optimal use of resources at our disposal.

In addition to compliance with applicable laws and regulations, the Company demonstrates its commitment to this policy through:

  • Minimising carbon footprint and raising awareness
  • Reducing waste by increasing recycling
  • Promoting responsible use of resources
  • Increasing the use of environmentally friendly products and services

Icelandair Group is committed to supporting continuous improvements by setting measurable targets, raising awareness and benchmarking performance.



Icelandair adheres to the goals IATA has set to address the global challenge of climate change and monitors accordingly fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions from flight and ground operations. To achieve the goals Icelandair has set goals for reducing emissions to 2025.

Goal to reduce CO2 emissions from flight operations by 20%

Icelandair Group has grown tremendously over the past years. The increase in the number of passengers and amount of cargo, the constant growth of the route network, as well as the expansion of the Company’s fleet are all factors that affect and increase the total emissions from the Company. In addition, the Company’s emissions also include ground facilities, offices, vehicles and maintenance areas.

To counteract the increased emissions, Icelandair Group is constantly pursuing improvements within its operations, both on the ground and in the air.

In recent years, many changes have been made to Icelandair’s operations to reduce CO2 emissions. These include implementation of winglets on aircrafts, operational manoeuvres during descent and landing and an active fuel monitoring program as well as training of pilots. Those actions have shown visible results in increased fuel efficiency and therefore reduced emissions. However, the suspension of the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft, which are more fuel-efficient than Icelandair’s current fleet, impacts the results for fuel burn per 100 revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) and fuel burn per operational tonne kilometre (OTK) in 2019.

Fuel burn per 100 RPK

Fuel burn per OTK

Goal to reduce CO2 emissions from ground vehicles by 40%

The emissions from Ground vehicles in 2019 are 1,659 tCO2e. This is the baseline data, we aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% before 2025. This number includes data from around 130 cars, vehicles and equipment directly linked to the airport. It does not include company cars.


Greenhouse gas emissions

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources which are mostly emissions from flights. Scope 1 includes emissions from Icelandair (including Icelandair Cargo, charter flights and Loftleiðir), Air Iceland Connect and from ground vehicles.

Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the company, that includes emissions from the generation of electricity and heat. All energy consumption from the water, both hot and cold, used in domestic operations, offices and hotels, is from renewable energy sources. Also, all the electricity used at Icelandair Group comes from a renewable source and is 100% hydroelectric. That results in low emissions reported in Scope 2.

Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the company. For Icelandair Group Scope 3 emissions have been calculated from waste streams only.

Division of GhG emissions

The Company’s goal is to maximise the use of renewable energy in all aspects of its operations where it is possible to use alternatives, and actively observe progress in the development of alternative aviation fuels.

Icelandair participates in programs that explore development of alternative fuels and electric airplanes, NISA and NEA.

NISA is an active Nordic association working to promote and develop a more sustainable aviation industry, with a specific focus on alternative sustainable fuels for the aviation sector.

NEA (The Nordic Network for Electric Aviation) is a platform where Nordic actors come together to accelerate the introduction of electric aviation in the Nordic countries.

Carbon emissions monitoring

Since the beginning of 2012 all airlines offering European destinations have been required to comply with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which commits them to raise their carbon permits in proportion to their emissions of carbon. To address the increase in emission as of 2020 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has decided to implement the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Icelandair is participating in CORSIA by monitoring emissions, starting in 2020.


Icelandair Group's goal is to minimise waste and increase recycling in all operations where restrictions by laws and regulations do not restrict waste separation.

Total amount of waste generated by Icelandair Group was around 2,450 tonnes 2019, very similar to previous years. The geographical location of operations and the legal environment must be considered as in some cases these factors may restrict waste separation, as cabin waste is subject to national waste management controls that are strict to protect agricultural sectors. That means that all cabin waste that has come in contact with or is made from animal products must be incinerated. Approximately 9% of all waste was incinerated in 2019.

Waste management at Icelandair Hotels

Icelandair Hotels with 33% of all waste generated, have been very successful to engage employees and customers to participate in various projects for example educational and inspirational lectures in cooperation with waste management handlers for all employees, waste sorting competitions between hotels, adding sorting bins to all common areas for customers, information cards on breakfast buffets and more.

Sorted waste at Icelandair Hotels

Waste management in Keflavik

The catering operations in Keflavík, which also deals with waste from airplanes, contribute about 36% of all waste generated but the amount of sorted waste is only about 26%. Therefore a working group was initiated late 2019 to figure out ways to increase recycling, the main actions have been identified as training of employees, streamlining work processes in-house and initiating a test project to sort waste on-board that does not have to be incinerated due to regulations.

Sorted waste at Catering facilities

Environmental initiatives

One environmental initiative of many at Icelandair according to the new Company strategy is stop giving away plastic bottles for all passengers on our North American routes, saving about 20 tons of plastic every year. More examples are traditional plastic cutlery and plastic stirrers have been replaced with an environmentally friendly option. Similarly, plastic wrappers have been removed from blankets offered to passengers. In addition, a decision has been made to switch to more environmentally friendly cups and to start recycling on board in the coming months. This is only a small part of the many projects that Icelandair is currently working on with regards to the environment, and we will continue on this journey.

Waste handling

Icelandair Group has initiated various projects to improve waste recycling within the Company with good success. As can be seen 76% of waste from GSE is recycled, that is mostly used oils and metal parts. Waste from the hangar in Keflavík includes very much timber and metals and 52% of waste goes into recycling streams.

Location Amount of waste (kg) Sorted Waste
GSE maintenance in Keflavík (Ground Service Equipment) 33,540 76%
Hafnarfjordur Office Building 24,823 61%
Hangar in Keflavik 214,540 52%
Cargo in Keflavik 146,180 47%
Air Iceland Connect 90,780 34%
Biodegradable-cutlery---Enjoy-your-meal---Graphic-test-01 copy.png


Aircraft noise sometimes called aircraft noise pollution is a significant part of the environmental affect caused by aviation. This noise is mainly caused by engines but also aerodynamic noise. Requirements have been set by ICAO and EASA to minimize the effect caused to the surrounding. Icelandair complies with these limitation and guidelines. On top of that, Icelandair's fleet is in progress of being modernized. Procedures have been adapted to reduce environmental effect. Close cooperation with local communities has had positive effect reducing noise pollution.

Furthermore Icelandair has adapted procedures which minimize both carbon emission and noise such as CDA (continuous descent approach), RAAL reduced acceleration altitude, One engine taxi and delayed APU start. These procedures and results are monitored on daily bases by fuel efficiency programs. Enabling the company to react quickly on any negative trend. Maintenance actions have been enhanced such as engine core was, exterior cleaning and control rigging.

Launch of carbon calculator

From September 2019 Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect passengers can offset the carbon footprint of their air travel. The contributions from passengers in the year 2019 are equivalent to planting about 5,500 trees.


Offsetting program

Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect have offered passengers the option to offset the carbon footprint of their air travel since September 2019. The new carbon calculator makes it easy to calculate the carbon footprint associated with each flight, and the contribution necessary to offset it. Contributions from passengers made through the carbon calculator are used by Kolvidur – Iceland Carbon Fund to cultivate forests in Iceland.

From 2020 Icelandair will offset all employee business travel.



Icelandair strives to ensure that all employees experience that they are part of one team. This is crystalized in the company's core values which are simplicity, responsibility and passion and provide the foundation for the strong company culture at Icelandair.

A new strategic vision and mission was introduced in 2019. The guiding light of the organization is that Icelandair brings the spirit of Iceland to the world and in doing so delivers smooth and enjoyable travel experiences. Such a clear vision on the destination and such a purposeful and relatable way of getting there is set to mobilize the employees to act in concert all going in the same direction.

Underpinning the new vision and mission are specifically crafted five strategic initiatives which serve to crystalize how the organization is progressing and creating value over time. One of these initiatives is a culture of passion and performance of which People & Culture is the owner and steward to ensure implementation and follow through.

At Icelandair we are proud to have so many passionate employees. We are committed to providing a positive working environment where we can all perform at our best. With our regular Icelandair employee survey and check-in framework we focus on increasing employee engagement through action-oriented feedback. By listening to our people we are constantly developing our company culture of good morale and well-being. We are all part of the same team and together we bring the spirit of Iceland to the world.

Sveina Berglind Jónsdóttir

HR Director, People & Culture

Company growth

After a turbulent year characterized by unparalleled external events both internationally and domestically Icelandair Group (Icelandair) is experiencing a year of rebalancing and refocus from where it is set to return to a profitable trajectory guided by a new strategic vision. Against this backdrop the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) only grew 1% from the year before compared to a compounded annual growth of 8% over the past seven years.

Nr. of avg. FTEs

For the fiscal year 2019 Icelandair Group consisted of 14 operating companies with Icelandair as its core with 72,5% of the employee population, whereof the support functions of Icelandair support the subsidiaries and thus creating scalability and synergies within the group of operating companies.

2017 2018 2019
Icelandair 2,143 3,260 3,451
IGS* 779
Icelandair Cargo 56 80 91
Icelandair Shared Services (Fjarvakur) 127 137 131
Air Iceland Connect 232 233 210
Loftleidir Icelandair 10 11 14
VITA 25 30 29
Icelandair Hotels 677 673 659
Iceland Travel 197 168 126
Icelandair Group** 17 14 4
4,263 4,606 4,715

Gender equality

Icelandair Group's People & Culture (P&C) strategy emphasizes equality and non-discrimination and embraces diversity. This focus, which ensures that employees are provided with equal opportunities and equal rights, is an integral part of the Equal Rights Policy and Equal Rights Plan which has been approved by the Executive Committee. The numbers speak for themselves as the gender ratio is almost equal – with male/female split of 47/53 out of 100.

Gender ratio

Equal opportunities and gender stereotypes

The first step to ensure equal opportunities is to reduce the impact of gender stereotypes by showing great role models and introduce the jobs to girls where women are underrepresented and to boys where men are underrepresented. Icelandair needs to ensure that the roles offered at Icelandair are appealing and available for everyone.

Icelandair has made considerable improvements when it comes to gender equality in recent years. Ten years ago, there was only one woman of five Board Directors and only men within the Executive Management. Today, women represent 40% of the Board of Directors and 33% of the Executive Management. In other management positions the ratio is 48/52.

Board of directors 2009

Board of directors 2019

Executive Management 2009

Executive Management 2019

Icelandair is among the top airlines with the highest proportion of female pilots in the world today, or 12%, increasing from 6.5% in 2009. Male cabin crew were 5.3% 10 years ago but are now 9%. However, the gender balance within aircraft maintenance roles has not changed over time and is still over 99% men.

Female Pilots

Male cabin crew

Gender equality objectives for 2025

The airline industry as a whole is now starting to put gender equality on the agenda as IATA, the International Air Transport Association has organized a pledge for airlines which is called 25by25. The aim of this project is to bring the proportion of the gender that is underrepresented in management and flight-related roles to 25% or improve the current status by 25%.
Icelandair has set targets that align with the airline industries goals about gender equality in management positions, pilot positions, cabin crew positions and aircraft maintenance techicians jobs.

To achieve this Icelandair will focus on reducing the focus of gender stereotypes in marketing materials and represent great diverse role models that already work at Icelandair. The company will also systematically introduce different roles within the Company to girls and boys. In addition, rules and procedures have been adapted, so they do not discriminate between genders, such as uniform rules, for example regarding shoes and make-up.

IATA equality pledge

Bogi Nils Bogason, President and CEO of Icelandair Group, signed the IATA equality pledge – 25by2025 in Berlin. The same pledge was submitted at the Reykjavik Forum of Global Women Leaders in Reykjavik.

Skýring 2020-03-06 151641.png

Equal pay certification

Icelandair proudly received equal pay certification for the largest part of our operations. Such certification is a confirmation that companies are formally working to combat gender-based pay gaps and promote gender equality in the workplace. The certification applies to our employees of Icelandair Group, Icelandair, Icelandair Hotels and Icelandair Cargo, or around 4,000 employees in total. We are the largest private company in Iceland to receive equal pay certification.


Equal Pay Policy

Since the adoption of the Gender Equality Act No. 10/2008 the company is obligated to implement an Equal Pay Policy in order to improve and advocate gender equality and obtain a formalized Equal Pay Certification. Furthermore, in June 2017 the Icelandic parliament passed amendments to the Gender Equality Act requiring that women and men working for the same employer shall be paid equal wages and enjoy equal terms and conditions of employment for the same job or jobs of equal value to the company. The amendment requires companies, organizations and institutions who employ 25 or employees on an annual basis to attain equal pay certification from an accredited independent third party certifying that their equal pay system and the implementation thereof is in accordance with the legislation and meets the requirements of the Standard ÍST 85, The Equal Pay Standard. On this platform, Icelandair actively promotes and advocates for this legislation in its pursue of more gender equality in the Icelandic labor market.

Icelandair Group and its subsidiaries are required by law and have been certified and received the Equal Pay Certification.

EqualPay_2019_2022_primaryUse_on_light_background_Minnkað copy.png

2018 2019
Gender pay ratio Basic earnings 1.22% in favour of men 0.24% in favour of men
Gender pay ratio Regular earnings 2.2% in favour of men 1.87% in favour of men

When I started working for Icelandair in 2005 we were only ten female pilots. Last summer we were 70 – so a lot has changed in the last 15 years. It is great that Icelandair is determined to promote equal opportunities across the company and become a leader in gender equality in the aviation industry. I am proud to be part of this project.

Stella Ólafsdóttir


Employee age distribution

In terms of Icelandair´s workforce demographic profile, the indicators are positive as characterized with the employee age distribution with about two thirds of the employee population under the age of 45.

Employee age distribution

Employee tenure

As Icelandair has historically and now recently been the only international airline operator based in Iceland there are consequently many jobs and roles that are industry specific and thus almost exclusively found in Icelandair. This means that employees in such jobs typically have a longer tenure with the group than what typically is considered in the local labor market in Iceland while other industry specific roles have the opposite profile in terms where employee turnover is typically high. When placed in the context of the high growth over the past years this profile of Icelandair´s workforce tenure is rationalized with organizational changes there has been a considerable employee renewal at all levels within the organization.

Employee tenure distribution

Employee turnover rates

The employee turnover rates vary across subsidiaries within the group with the overall rate for the group as a whole of 16%. This is characterized mainly by fact that the group is operating with a portfolio of companies spanning both the airline & aviation and the leisure & hospitality industries which are subject to different labor market dynamics which together explain the overall rate for employee turnover.

Employee turnover rates*


rate for the group as a whole

*vary across subsidiaries within the group

Health and safety

General health and well-being of Icelandair employees is a priority where the company endeavors towards providing an attractive and exciting place to work where people can thrive at their best. The company has in place a comprehensive Health & Attendance Policy under which – among other things – Icelandair offers various health-related programs and initiatives to further the employee's health and wellbeing. Data on work related injuries resulting in absense from work are gathered in some aspects of the business and are being gathered for presentation.

Health Indicator*


Average no. of sick days per FTE

* The health indicator is inclusive of employee sick days

Health promotion at Icelandair is high on the people agenda and initiatives have been launched with the overall aim of improving the well-being of all our employees. A health policy was put into place to safeguard the health of employees and ensure the necessary support when illness or accidents occur as well as take preventative measures for such events. Adjacent to this the company has a service agreement with Health Protection Service (Heilsuvernd) on confidential medical services ensuring employee's access to health care. Furthermore, Icelandair took a special aim against bullying and gender-related harassment and violence as a part of on-going effort to eradicate such employee behavior. To that end 30 lectures, related to wellbeing were conducted across the organization during the year.


Employees satisfaction

Icelandair Group measures its working environment and cultural alignment through annual workplace audits and audit 2019 showed that 59,5% of the employee population was both engaged and committed. This means that the attitude of the majority of the employees was positive both towards the daily job that they perform and towards the company that they work for. This critical element of the company culture is further supported with a high net employee promotion score of 43 out of 100 (comprised of percentage of promotors less percentage of detractors). These two important measures from the workplace audit both show and reinforce the efficacy and effectiveness of the People & Culture strategy.

Diverse lectures for employees

Icelandair Academy is the learning platform for Icelandair employees, to achieve Icelandairs goal to have both engaged and committed employees various lectures are held for employees to increase awareness about for example health, the value of good sleep, the environment, working environment and more which are well attended.


Competense development

Icelandair seeks to attract talented and qualified employees to ensure that the company can meet and exceed its current and future operational challenges while ensuring and facilitating a good and progressive working culture in which the employees can both thrive and perform at their best.

Therefore, it is imperative that the employees of Icelandair have and display a growth mindset where they are both willing and able to learn and develop so both may gain. To that end, Icelandair's People & Culture has taken measures to supply its diverse employee groups with access to market leading learning and development material. By the same token, Icelandair upholds high safety and security standards and has in place detailed action plans designed to achieve these goals with mandatory training carried out for all employees working roles that are designated as part of aviation safety and work environment that is considered risk to occupational health and safety. All new employees go through a company orientation training which includes health and safety training when they commence their employment with the company.

Training provided by employee group in 2019 Total hours
Cabin Crew 87,360
Flight Crew 43,967
Ground & Technical Operations 39,122
Other Employees 2,160
New Hire Orientation 9,760
Total 182,369

The total of 182 thousand hours of training equates to that each employee would receive more than one week of formal training during the year.

Tru Flight Training Iceland

Subsidiary of Icelandair, Tru, offers airline pilot and cabin crew training on Boeing platform in our training facilities in Hafnarfjordur. Airline pilot training is performed in simulators that are precise replicas of the cockpits of the Boeing aircraft type they are designed to simulate. Both Icelandair pilots and pilots from other airlines are trained in Hafnarfjordur.


Responsible Business

Icelandair has a special emphasis on working with Icelandic suppliers to promote local products and crafts as part of our promise to bring Iceland to the world. We have made it a priority to serve local products on our flights and have Icelandic products in our in-flight sales selection to allow our international customer base to try the best of Iceland. When selecting suppliers for our Iceland selection, we carefully monitor quality and sustainability features.

Icelandair also has more than 2,000 suppliers around the world. We are one of the largest buyers of products and services in Iceland, and have a significant footprint. During 2019, we have worked to centralise and improve our procurement function across the Group. As part of this process we have identified responsible procurement as a material issue for Icelandair Group to work with. We have initiated the work to categorise our suppliers according to sustainability risks and to design solid monitoring and follow-up measures. We have mapped our largest suppliers according to sustainability risks and used the opportunity to train our procurement team on responsibility issues.

In 2020, we will implement a new responsible procurement system covering all our suppliers and launch our new supplier Code of Conduct. Our responsible procurement system will cover a risk assessment of suppliers, a self-assessment, follow-up dialogue and audits and trainings as part of the ongoing monitoring. From mid-2020, our new supplier Code of Conduct will be integrated in all new contracts.

Ensuring a responsible supply chain is a very important element of companies’ risk management efforts. This involves introducing centralized purchasing, assessing suppliers and making sure they adhere to responsible business practices. We at Icelandair are on this journey and I believe it will not only result in more transparent and fair business with our suppliers, but also increase efficiency, improve quality and reduce cost.

Guðmundur Tryggvi Sigurðsson

Director, Resource Management

Anti-corruption and governance

Icelandair Group conducts all its business in an honest and ethical manner and the integrity of each and every member of staff serves to maintain the good reputation and trust of the Company. All persons, representing or performing services for or on behalf of Icelandair Group must comply with applicable anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation and policies, and Icelandair Group’s Code of Conduct.

A new anti-corruption and bribery policy was established and approved by the executive management early 2020 which applies to the entire Icelandair Group workforce at all levels and grades (whether permanent, fixed-term or temporary), and all operations, subsidiaries and affiliates in all countries that the company operates in.

Impact on the Economy

The importance of aviation for the Icelandic economy

The flight industry has become the backbone of the Icelandic economy and Icelandair has an important role becoming the largest revenue generating industry in Iceland.

The rapid growth in aviation and tourism over the last decade in Iceland has contributed greatly to the country's economy, creating value and jobs. Tourism has become the country's largest export industry and has fueled economic growth over the last decade. The export value of the industry is over 500 billion ISK.

Last year, about 2 million tourists arrived in the country, but the total number of passengers flying through Keflavik Airport was just over 7 million. The growth has exceeded all predictions and though it is slowing down it is likely to keep on growing in a more sustainable way, expected growth for the next two years is 2-5%. The economic and social impact of the industry has exceeded all predictions in creating value and overall contributed to a better living standard for the Icelandic people. The tourism industry is the industry that most people work in this country and these jobs have become full-time jobs today unlike here in previous years.

Good living conditions in Iceland are primarily based on efficient air transport, and Icelandair is one of the largest parties in the country's largest export industry, tourism. The tourism industry now accounts for 39% of total export, 14% of the entire workforce in Iceland and contributes 8,6% to economic growth (GDP ). The state's tax revenue for increased tourism has tripled over the past decade.

Tourism has become the largest revenue-generating sector in Iceland. Moving forward, it is important to enhance value creation in a sustainable way focusing on creating new business opportunities. The long-term goal for the industry is to create a framework for the next decade to secure Iceland as a tourism destination that offers an authentic and unique visitor experience. The steps Icelandair is taking towards a more sustainable operation, following four Sustainable Developmental Goals, including gender equality and reducing carbon emissions and its impact on the environment , is a very important contribution to the Government‘s focus on a more sustainable economy for the future.

Thordis Kolbrun R. Gylfadottir

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation of Iceland

Tourism industry accounts for


of total export

Tourism contributes


to economic growth (GDP)

Tourism industry accounts for


of the entire workforce in Iceland

Icelandair Group employees



Icelandair Group‘s impact on the Economy

Icelandair thus plays a major role in terms of both business and transport to and from the country. It is important that the company continues to work systematically to reduce the negative impact of our operations. The world economy has a lot to do with efficient air transport and few nations as much as Iceland. The Icelandic economy relies on air transport for both passenger transport and, not least, freight transport. Air transport by its nature contributes to the prosperity of the world and is necessary to maintain international relations and trade. Departures to and from Iceland to North America is more than the rest of Scandinavia combined. This depicts the strength of Iceland as a connecting hub between the continents and the strength of Icelandair’s network.

Due to its size and operations, Icelandair Group is also prestigious economically.

Impact on Society

We bring the spirit of Iceland to the world

Icelandair Group is the largest private company in Iceland, with regards to the number of employees. We put a lot of effort into meeting the responsibility that comes with it. Icelandair Group is proud of its role in the Icelandic community and continues to seek new opportunities to expand its ties to society at large.

Through the organisations we support and the events we sponsor, we are proud to foster and promote the spirit of Iceland.

Icelandair's Gay pride flight

This year we marked our commitment to diversity and inclusion with flight FI829 between Keflavík and Philadelphia on August 13. Our “pride flight” was an initiative of LGBTQ+ employees at Icelandair and the cabin crew and pilots on this flight are all proud members of the LGBTQ+ community. Service on board the flight was themed according to the occasion, with our cabin crew serving treats and a festive mood.


The spirit of creativity

Iceland is globally recognised as punching above its weight on the world music stage, and we are proud of the role we play in nurturing and showcasing local talent. We founded the acclaimed Iceland Airwaves music festival in 1999, and today we sponsor a number of music, design and arts events. In 2019 we received an award from Samtónn, the Icelandic Music Association, in recognition of our ongoing support for Icelandic music and musicians.

  • Iceland Airwaves
  • Icelandic Music Experiments (Músíktilraunir)
  • DesignMarch
  • Reykjavík Arts Festival (sponsored by Icelandair Hotels)

Icelandic Music Awards

On Icelandic Music Day, Icelandair received the Export Award for sustained support of Icelandic music and musicians. Icelandair’s contribution to the Icelandic music industry includes projects like Iceland Airwaves, Icelandic Music Experiments and Reykjavík Loftbrú, together with promoting local music on board aircraft.


Iceland Airwaves

In November the annual festival attracted more than 8000 guests, underlining the importance of the event to Icelandic tourism. Icelandair has always put a great deal of emphasis on supporting Icelandic creativity.


The spirit of community

As one of Iceland’s largest companies, it’s vital to support our community and we are committed to that role. We support the life-saving work done by our country’s volunteer search-and-rescue team, and together with contributions from our passengers we lend a hand to children with long-term illnesses and children who live in difficult circumstances.

  • Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR)
  • Special Children Travel Fund (Vildarbörn)

Special Children Travel Fund

This year, a total of 48 children will get an opportunity to travel with their families through the fund - around 250 people in total. Since the first contribution on the First Day of Summer in 2003, 697 children have been able to travel with their family, thanks to assistance from the Special Children Travel Fund.


The spirit of exploration

A small country needs risk-takers in the business world, and through the Icelandic Tourism Fund we give financial backing to new ventures that seek to increase the diversity of Icelandic tourism and strengthen its infrastructure. The fund’s main focus is supporting the development of year-round attractions for tourists and Icelanders alike.

  • Whales of Iceland
  • Into the Glacier
  • LAVA – Volcano and Earthquake Center
  • Inside the Volcano

Give away on Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres gave 150 people in the audience on her special Christmas show, "Ellen's Greatest Night of Giveaways," tickets with Icelandair to Iceland for two, five-day accommodation at Icelandair hotels and a trip to the Blue Lagoon. Chrissy Teigen helped Ellen announce the gifts. The show premiered on NBC in the US at prime time.


The spirit of teamwork

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and this is especially true in a country with a small population. Together we can reach new sporting heights, as evidenced in the recent successes of our national football teams. The men’s team captured global attention in 2018 as Iceland became the smallest nation to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

  • National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland (ÍSÍ)
  • Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ)
  • Icelandic Handball Association (HSÍ)
  • Icelandic Basketball Association (KKÍ)
  • Golf Association of Iceland (GSÍ)
  • Iceland Sports Association for the Disabled

National womens football team

Icelandair is a proud sponsor of the Icelandic national womens football team which has had great success on the international stage. The success of the team has greatly increased the awereness for gender equality in sports in Iceland.


Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Accounting

This is the second sustainability report of Icelandair Group made with reference to Nasdaq's ESG Reporting Guide, issued in 2019. These guidelines are based on guidance from the United Nations' Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative and The World Federation of Exchange. The report should include all information to fulfil the Icelandic law (3/2006, 66. gr. d.) on non-financial reporting, as amended with reference to EU directive 2013/34 in year 2016.

Environmental metrics
Units 2019
E1 GhG Emissions
Total amount, in CO2 equivalents, for Scope 1 tCO2e 1,358,972
Total amount, in CO2 equivalents, for Scope 2 tCO2e 515
Total amount, in CO2 equivalents, for Scope 3 tCO2e 695
E2 Emissions Intensity
Total GhG emission per output scaling factor tCO2e per USDk 0,90
tCO2e per FTEs 288
tCO2e per passenger 0,31
Fuel burn per 100 revenue passenger kilometres l/100RPK 3,55
Fuel burn per operational tonne kilometre l/OTK 0,2991
Total non-GhG emissions per output scaling factor -
E3 Energy Usage
Total amount of energy directly consumed (fossil fuels) kWh 5,547,715,498
Total amount of energy indirectly consumed (electricity and heat) kWh 58,312,823
E4 Energy Intensity
Total direct energy usage per output scaling factor kWh per USDk 3,726
kWh per FTEs 1,188,977
kWh per passenger 1272
E5 Energy Mix
Non renewable energy (Fossil fuels are the primary energy source) % 99%
Renewable energy % 1%
E6 Water Usage
Total amount of water consumed m3 908,788
Total amount of water reclaimed m3
E7 Environmental Operations
Does your company follow a formal Environmental Policy Yes/No Yes
Does your company follow specific waste, water, energy, and/or recycling policies Yes/No Yes
Does your company use a recognized energy management system Yes/No No
E8 Climate Oversight / Board
Does your Board of Directors oversee and/or manage climate-related risks Yes/No No
E9 Climate Oversight / Management
Does your Senior Management Team oversee and/or manage climate-related risks Yes/No No
E10 Climate Risk Mitigation
Total amount invested, annually, in climate-related infrastructure, resilienve, and product development -
Social data metrics
Units 2019
S1 CEO Pay ratio
CEO total compensation to median FTE total compensation ratio 6,25
Does your company report this metric in regulatory filings Yes/No no
S2 Gender Pay Ratio
Median male compensation to median female compensation (basic earnings) % 0,24
Median male compensation to median female compensation (regular earnings) % 1,87
S3 Employee Turnover
Year-over-year change for full-time employees % 16%
S4 Gender Diversity
Total enterprise headcount held by men and women women/men% 53/47
Entry- and mid- level positions held by men and women women/men% -
Senior- and executive-level positions held by men and women women/men% 33/67
S5 Temporary Worker Ratio
Total enterprise headcount held by part-time employees women/men%
Total enterprise headcount held by contractors and/or consultants women/men%
S6 Non-Discrimination
Does your company follow a sexual harassment and/or non-discrimination policy Yes/No Yes
S7 Injury Rate
Frequency of injury events relative to total workforce time -
S8 Global Health & Safety
Does your company follow an occupational health and/or global health & safety policy Yes/No Yes
S9 Child & Forced Labor
Does your company follow a child and/or forced labor policy Yes/No Yes
If yes, does your child and/or forced labor policy also cover suppliers and vendors Yes/No -
S10 Human Rights
Does your company follow a human rights policy Yes/No Yes
If yes, does your human rights policy also cover suppliers and vendors Yes/No -
Governance Metrics
Units 2019
G1 Board Diversity
Total board seats occupied by women (as compared to men) % 40%
Committee chairs occupied by women (as compared to men) % 33%
G2 Board Independence
Does company prohibit CEO from serving as board chair Yes/No Yes
Total board seats occupied by independants % 100%
G3 Incentivized Pay
Are executives formally incentivized to perform on sustainability Yes/No No
G4 Collective Bargaining
Total enterprise headcount covered by collective bargaining agreements % 99%
G5 Supplier Code of Conduct
Are your vendors or suppliers required to follow a Code of Conduct Yes/No No
G6 Ethics & Anti-Corruption
Does your company follow an Ethics and/or Anti-Corruption policy Yes/No Yes
If yes, what percentage of your workforce has formally certified its compliance with the policy %
G7 Data Privacy
Does your company follow a Data Privacy policy Yes/No Yes
Has your company taken steps to comply with GDPR rules Yes/No Yes
G8 ESG Reporting
Does your company publish a sustainability report Yes/No Yes
Is sustainability data included in your regulatory filings Yes/No Yes
G9 Disclosure Practices
Does your company provide sustainability data to sustainability reporting frameworks ? Yes/No No
Does your company focus on specific UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Yes/No Yes
Does your company set targets and report progress on the UN SDGs Yes/No Yes
G10 External Assurance
Are your sustainability disclosures assured or validated by a third party Yes/No No

GRI Index

Icelandair presents its responsibility information in accordance with Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) standards, core level. The sustainability information presented in the responsibility report for 2019 has not been assured by an external party.

GRI content
GRI 102: General Disclosure
1. Organizational profile
Name of the organization
Activities, brands, products, and services
Name of the organization
Activities, brands, products, and services
Location of headquarters
Reykjavik Airport, 101 Reykjavik Iceland
Location of operations
Ownership and legal form
Markets served
Scale of the organization
Information on employees and other workers
Supply chain
Significant changes to the organization and its supply chain
Precautionary Principle or approach
External initiatives
Membership of associations
2. Strategy
Statement from senior decision-maker
Key impacts, risks, and opportunities
3. Ethics and integrity
Values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior
Mechanisms for advice and concerns about ethics
4. Governance
Governance structure
Delegating authority
Executive-level responsibility for economic, environmental, and social tips
Consulting stakeholders on economic, environmental, and social topics
Composition of the highest governance body and its committees
Chair of the highest governance body
Nominating and selecting the highest governance body
Conflicts of interest
Role of highest governance body in setting purpose, values, and strategy
Collective knowledge of highest governance body
Evaluating the highest governancee body's performance
Identifying and managing economic, environmental, and social impacts
Effectiveness of risk management processes
Review of economic, environmental, and social topics
Highest governance body's role in sustainability reporting
Communicating critical concerns
Nature and total number of critical concerns
Remuneration policies
Process for determining remuneration
Stakeholders' involvement in remuneration
Annual total compensation ratio
Percentage increase in annual total compensation ratio
5. Stakeholder engagement
List of stakeholder groups
Collective bargaining agreements
Identifying and selecting stakeholders
Approach to stakeholder engagement
Key topics and concerns raised
6. Reporting practice
Entities included in the conslidated financial statements
Defining report content and topic Boundaries
List of material topics
Restatement of information
Changes in reporting
Reporting period
Date of mest recent report
March 2019
Reporting cycle
Contact point for questions regarding the report
Claims of reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards
GRI content index
External assurance
GRI 103: Management Approach
Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary
The management approach and its components
Evaluation of the management approach
GRI 201: Economic Performance
Direct economic value generated and distributed
Financial implications and other risks and opportunities due to climate change
Defined benefit plan obligations and other retirement plans
Financial assistance received from government
GRI 202: Market Presence
Ratios of standard entry level wage by gender compared to local minimum wage
Proportion of senior management hired from the local community
GRI 203: Indirect Economic Impacts
Infrastructure investments and services supported
Significant indirect economic impacts
GRI 204: Procurement Practices
Proportion of spending on local suppliers
GRI 205: Anti-corruption
Operations assessed for risks related to corruption
Communication and training about anti-corruption policies and procedures
Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken
GRI 206: Anti-competitive Behavior
Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices
GRI 207: Tax - valid from 2021
Approach to tax
Tax governance, contol, and risk management
Stakeholder engagement and management of concerns related to tax
Country-by-counry reporting
GRI 301: Materials
Materials used by weight or volume
Recycled input materials used
Reclaimed products and their packaging materials
GRI 302: Energy
Energy consumption within the organization
Energy consumption outside of the organization
Energy intensity
Reduction of energy consumption
Reductions in energy requirements of products and services
GRI 303: Water and Effluents
Interactions with water as a shared resource
Management of water discharge-related impacts
Water withdrawal
Water discharge
Water consumption
GRI 304: Biodiversity
Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas
Significant impacts of activities, products, and services on biodiversity
Habitats protected or restored
IUCN Red List species and national conservation list species with habitats in areas affected by operations
GRI 305: Emissions
Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions
Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions
GHG emissions intensity
Reduction of GHG emissions
Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)
Nitrogen oxides (Nox), sulfur oxides (Sox), and other significant air emissions
GRI 306: Effluencts and Waste
Water discharge by quality and destination
Waste by type and disposal method
Significant spills
Transport of hazardous waste
Water bodies affected by water discharges and/or runoff
GRI 307: Environmental Compliance
Non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations
No incidents
GRI 308: Suppler Environmental Assessment
New suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria
Negative environmental impacts in the supply chain and actions taken
GRI 401: Employment
New employee hires and employee turnover
Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees
Parental leave
GRI 402: Labor/Management Relations
Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes
GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational health and safety management system
Hazard identification, risk assessment, and incident investigation
Occupational health services
Worker participation, consultation, and communication on occupational health and safey
Worker training on occupational health and safety
Promotion of worker health
Prevention and mitigation of occupational health and safety impacts directly linked by business relationships
Workers covered by an occupational health and safety management system
Work-related injuries
Work-related ill health
GRI 404: Training and Education
Average hours of training per year per employee
Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews
GRI 405: Diversity and Equal Opportunity
Diversity of governance bodies and employees
Ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men
GRI 406: Non-discrimination
Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken
GRI 407: Freedom of association and Collective Bargaining
Operations and suppliers in which the right to freedom af association and collective bargaining may be at risk
GRI: 408 Child Labor
Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor
GRI 409: Forced or Compulsory Labor
Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor
GRI 410: Security Practices
Security personnel trained in human rights policies or procedures
GRI 411: Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Incidents of violations involving rights of indigenous peoples
GRI 412: Human Rights Assessment
Operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments
Employee training on human rights policies or procedures
Significant investment agreements and contracts that include human rights clauses or that underwent human rights screening
GRI 413: Local Communities
Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs
Operations with significant actual and potential negative impacts on local communities
GRI 414: Supplier Social Assessment
New suppliers that were screened using social criteria
Negative social impacts in the supply chain and actions taken
GRI 415: Public Policy
Political contributions
GRI 416: Customer Health and Safety
Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories
Incidents of non-compliance concerning the health and safey impacts of products and services
GRI 417: Marketing and Labeling
Requirements for product and service information and labeling
Incidents of non-compliance concerning product and service information and labeling
Incidents of non-compliance concerning marketing communications
GRI 418: Customer Privacy
Substantiated complaints concerning breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data
GRI 419: Socioeconomic Compliance
Non-compliance with laws and regulations in the social and economic area