TF-?RN The first aircraft of Flugf?lag Akureyrar
The story of commercial aviation in Iceland begins in 1919, less than 16 years after the Wright brothers made the first-ever powered flight. As an airline, Icelandair traces its roots to the year 1937 when a fledgling airline, Flugf?lag Akureyrar, was founded at Akureyri on the north coast of Iceland.
Crew Members in Front of an Loftlei?ir aircraft
In 1943 the company moved its headquarters to the capital, Reykjav?k, and changed its name to Flugf?lag ?slands, which then later assumed the international trade name Icelandair.
Another important milestone was passed in 1944, when three young Icelandic pilots, returning from flight training in Canada, founded Loftleidir, later also known as Icelandic Airlines.
Crew Members of the First International Flight
Initially, both companies concentrated on Icelandic domestic air services.
However, in 1945 Flugf?lag ?slands made its first international flights to Scotland and Denmark. Loftleidir began international operations in 1947, and its pioneering low-fare services across the North-Atlantic commenced in 1953.
Today, Icelandair Employs Around 2000 People All Over the World
In 1973 it was agreed to merge both Flugf?lag ?slands and Loftleidir under a new holding company, Flugleidir. In October 1979 Flugleidir assumed all operating responsibilities of its two "parents", and decided to use Icelandair as its international trade name, only retaining the Flugleidir name in the Icelandic domestic market.
On the 50th anniversary of the company in 1987 a breakthrough agreement was signed with the Boeing company to renew the fleet of Icelandair that served international flight. A new generation of Boeing jets, Boeing 757-200 and 737-400 replaced the older fleet gradually from 1989 to 1993.
in January 2003 Flugleidir became a holding company with 11 subsidiaries in the travel an tourist industry in Iceland, Icelandair being the largest subsidiary.
In 2005 the name Flugleidir was changed to FL GROUP. The name is historical, the F coming from "Flug" and the L coming from "leidir". The holding company announced its emphasize on investment.
FL GROUP is 100% privately owned by around 4000 Icelandic shareholders, and is the largest private company in Iceland, employing over 2500 people whereof around 1000 work at Icelandair.
In May 2005, a Boeing 767 aircraft was incorporated into Icelandair's route network serving between San Francisco and Iceland, the airline's first destination on the US west coast.
In October 2005, fundamental changes to the FL GROUP took place where investments became the focus of FL GROUP and its airline and tourist service operations were divided between two separate subsidiaries; Icelandair Group and FL Travel Group.
Icelandair has been a member of IATA (International Air Transport Association) since 1950, a member of AEA (Association of European Airlines) since 1957, and a member of FSF (Flight Safety Foundation) since 1966.