Icelandair Group has recorded an improvement in its cargo operation, with a return to operating profit in the first quarter.

The company states that it is “on track” to deliver a full-year operating profit in the division after implementing a number of efficiency measures.

It reduced freight capacity by 9% as part of this efficiency effort. The company says capacity was consequently “better aligned” with demand, with flown freighter block hours 35% down on last year.

One of the carrier’s freighters has been placed on long-term lease.

Icelandair Cargo-c-Icelandair

Source: Icelandair

Efforts to turn around the cargo division have included leasing out surplus capacity

As a result of the measures, Icelandair Cargo’s revenues of $20.7 million for the first three months were down 13%.

Chief executive says the positive operating figure in February and March demonstrates a “great turnaround” compared with last year.

The cargo division narrowly edged into operating profit for the three months, contrasting with a $3.8 million loss last year.

Icelandair Group says the cargo business last year was “difficult” and that – along with leasing out a freighter – it has adjusted the cargo flight schedule and made organisational changes, measures which are “now starting to pay off”.