Icelandair to use A330Fs to cut home-market dependency

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Icelandair Cargo is aiming to reduce its dependency on its home market following its agreement to acquire Airbus A330-200 freighters.

The Icelandair Group’s freight division is to take four A330Fs through an arrangement with Avion Aircraft Trading, which has just firmed an agreement with Airbus to acquire eight of the type.

Icelandair Cargo will lease two of them directly from Avion. But Icelandair Group’s leasing subsidiary, Icelease, is to buy two of the jets and lease them back to Icelandair Cargo.

Two of the A330Fs will be delivered in spring 2010 and the other pair in 2011.

Icelandair Cargo, which presently operates five Boeing 757-200 freighters, is to use the A330Fs to develop long-haul flights to Asia. The carrier serves eight scheduled freighter destinations in Europe and North America, and sells hold space on Icelandair routes.

The carrier says it is interested in broadening its reach to China, India and the Person Gulf, and establishing connections through a European hub to Iceland, Canada and the USA.

It states it plans to cut down its home-market dependence. Around 80% of its transported freight is carried to or from Iceland.

Icelandair Cargo managing director Petur Eiriksson says the airline intends to “turn these proportions around” and adds: “We plan to treble the tonnage, treble the present revenue compared with today, as well as treble the contribution.”

The airline will acquire one or two more 757Fs in the interim until the A330Fs are delivered. But it says it will continue to use both types in parallel for an “undefined time”.

Operating income from the four A330Fs will amount to IcKr15-18 billion ($240-290 million) per year, the company estimates. Icelandair Cargo’s scheduled network includes New York, Charlotte, Halifax, Brussels, Liege, East Midlands, Jonkoping and Humberside.