Iceland's Avion renames as Eimskipafelag Islands

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Air Atlanta Icelandic owner Avion Group has changed its name to become Eimskipafelag Islands, reflecting its changing revenue streams.

During a shareholders meeting yesterday Avion’s board approved the name change, which will see it turn away from the aviation-related branding that it officially adopted in January last year.

The strategic shift follows Avion’s acquisition of Icelandic shipping firm Eimskip in June 2005, which it has since grown through further acquisitions.

Eimskipafelag Islands chairman Magnus Thorsteinsson says: “Now, approximately 80% of the Group’s turnover is generated from Eimskip. With Eimskip’s well established brand in Iceland and around the world, it is entirely appropriate to change our name to emphasise our origins as well as our current business activities.”

In contrast, the newly renamed firm has recently been disposing of its aviation interests. Last month it struck a $450 million deal to sell its XL Leisure Group division, which includes its charter interests Excel Airways, Star Airlines and Star Europe, to a team led by XL chief executive Phillip Wyatt.

Eimskipafelag Islands has also agreed to sell a 51% stake in its aircraft acquisitions unit Avion Aircraft Trading to a buy-out team including Avion Aircraft Trading executives and the founder of Air Atlanta Icelandic.