Both Icelandair and Iceland Express experienced numerous delays in December, with inclement weather the possible cause of a spike in delays in the latter half of the month.
According to data compiled by Turisti.is, both airlines saw significant numbers of arrival and departure delays, with long waits for passengers in the interim.
In the first two weeks of December, 67% of Icelandair flights departed on time, while only 52% would do so in the latter half of the month. By comparison, although Iceland Express had a stronger showing earlier in the month, with 75% of flights leaving on time, only 44% would do so later on.
Passengers also typically waited longer for their departures with Iceland Express later in December – the average wait time for Icelandair departures was 19 minutes later on in the month, but 32 minutes during the same period at Iceland Express. In the first half of December, wait times were closer together, at 10 minutes and six minutes for the two airlines, respectively.
Arrivals show a more dramatic difference. On-time arrivals in December for Icelandair went from 55% to 43%, while with Iceland Express they went from 28% to just 3% during the same period. As with departure wait times, waits also got much longer in the latter part of December – 19 minutes at Icelandair and 64 minutes at Iceland Express – while again, the wait times for arrivals at the two airlines were closer together in the first half of December, at 12 minutes and 16 minutes respectively.
Turisti reckons the most likely explanations for the delays was the cold weather and high winds that were the hallmarks of late December in Iceland. Why departure and arrival punctuality was so markedly different between the two companies, however, is not known.