Changes have been made to Icelandair Group‘s organisational structure to further sharpen the focus on the Company‘s core business, flight operations. The Company’s flight operations will be divided into eight divisions which consist of four core business divisions and four supporting functions. The core business divisions are Sales and Customer Experience, Operations, Air Freight and Logistics and Aircraft Leasing and Consulting. The first three divisions focus on maximising the potential and creating value from the Group’s international route network. Aircraft Leasing and Consulting uses Icelandair Group’s expertise, experience and operating resources to provide charter and consulting services to airline operators around the world. The four supporting functions are Finance, People and Culture, Digital Development and Information Technology, and Fleet and Network. The Managing Directors of the above-mentioned divisions form Icelandair Group’s Executive Management, along with Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO.
Changes in the Executive Management team
Sales and Marketing and Customer Experience which have been operated as two separate divisions will be merged into one. Birna Osk Einarsdottir, who has served as Chief Customer Experience Officer, will lead the merged division, Sales and Customer Experience, and take over the role of Chief Commercial Officer from Gunnar Mar Sigurfinnsson. Gunnar Mar will remain part of the Executive Management team, as Chief of Air Freight and Logistics.
Tomas Ingason joins the Company as Chief Information Officer to lead a new division, Digital Development and Information Technology, and becomes part of the Executive Management team, as well as Eva Soley Gudbjornsdottir, who joins the Company in mid-February as Chief Financial Officer.
Furthermore, Ivar S. Kristinsson, Managing Director of Fleet and Route Network, and Arni Hermannson, Managing Director of Loftleidir Icelandic, will join the Executive Management team.
Magnea Thorey Hjalmarsdottir, Managing Director of Icelandair Hotels, Icelandair Group’s subsidiary which is currently in sales process, will leave the Executive Management team. Jens Bjarnason, Managing Director of Corporate Affairs, will now focus on an international investment project for the Group. He has been leading one such project for Icelandair Group in Cape Verde over the last two years.
Bogi Nils Bogason, CEO of Icelandair Group:
“With these changes, we are further sharpening our focus on flight operations, our core business. These changes will also simplify our operations and increase efficiencies, for example in our finance division. This will make us better equipped to adapt to the constantly changing operating environment and take advantage of future opportunities. Increased emphasis on digitization, development of our fleet and route network, as well as air freight and our leasing business, will also strengthen our competitive advantage.”
Integration of sales, marketing and customer service
Birna Osk Einarsdottir will lead a new division, Sales and Customer Experience. She has headed the Customer Experience division, which was established last year with the aim to increase the focus on customer relationships within Icelandair by integrating developmental and customer relations functions. Customer Experience has been responsible for Icelandair’s loyalty programme, digital development, strategy and business development. This was an important step that resulted in improved customer service and simplified processes and project management. Gunnar Mar Sigurfinnsson has led the Sales and Marketing division since last year and has strengthened the sales and marketing activities significantly during that time. By integrating these two divisions, distribution technology, data and digital development, will be moved to a new division, Digital Development and Information Technology. This change sharpens the focus of the division on opportunities of further integration of sales, marketing and customer service activities. Gunnar Mar will support Birna Osk with the further development and integration of these functions in the following weeks. Great emphasis will be placed on retaining a good relationship with Icelandair’s key customers, agents and partnering companies.
Prioritising Digital Development
New division, Digital Development and Information Technology, has been established. It builds on Icelandair’s commitment over the past few years to build on the most current technology available to provide customers excellent service, and drive digitization to improve operational efficiencies. Three years ago, Icelandair set an ambitious goal of becoming a leader in digital technology solutions within the airline industry. Significant progress has been made in this area since then. Integrating all the functions within the Company that will shape Icelandair’s digital future in one place is the logical next step in this development. Tomas Ingason has been appointed to lead this new division from the beginning of March.
Emphasis on Air Freight and Logistics
Gunnar Mar Sigurfinnsson will lead the further development of Air Freight and Logistics. He has led Icelandair Cargo for the last 10 years and has strengthened this business significantly during that time. The Group intends to capitalize upon the opportunity to use Icelandair’s international route network more efficiently when it comes to air freight. In addition, various possibilities to expand the Company’s air freight business are being considered.
Aircraft Leasing and Consulting builds on Icelandair Group‘s operational resources
Aircraft Leasing and Consulting will become one of Icelandair Group’s core business divisions and will be led by Arni Hermannsson, Managing Director of Loftleidir Icelandic. Loftleidir Icelandic currently uses Icelandair Group’s expertise, experience and operating resources to provide charter and consulting services to airline operators around the world. Furthermore, the Company contributes to reducing seasonal fluctuations within Icelandair Group’s operations. The Company has consistently performed well over the years and Icelandair Group intends to strengthen this business further.
Changes within Finance
Icelandair Group’s subsidiary, Icelandair Shared Services (Fjarvakur), that has provided the Group with a range of financial services over the years, will be integrated into Icelandair Group’s Finance division. Magnus Kr. Ingason, the Managing Director of Icelandair Shared Services, has decided to leave the Company in May 2019 following the completion of the integration. The objectives of these changes are to simplify processes and reduce operating costs.
Fleet and Route Network Management
The fleet and the international route network are at the core of Icelandair Group’s operations. Ivar S. Kristinsson, Managing Director of Icelandair’s Fleet and Route Network will lead a new division dedicated to this area of the business. He will also become part of the Executive Management team.
As a result of the clearer focus on the Group’s flight operations, further integration of Icelandair Group’s subsidiaries, Air Iceland Connect and VITA, will also be considered. Furthermore, Icelandair Group’s Board of Directors has decided to start preparing the sales process of Iceland Travel.
New members of the Executive Management team
Arni Hermannsson was appointed Managing Director of Loftleidir Icelandic in January 2018 after having served as Chief Financial Officer of the Company since 2002. Prior to that he was Chief Financial Officer of the Icelandic technology companies ANZA and Alit. He holds a Cand. Oecon Degree in Business Administration from the University of Iceland.
Eva Soley Gudbjornsdottir worked as the Managing Director of Finance and Operations at Advania in Iceland from 2015 and then as the Managing Director of Service and Operations of the Company from May 2018. Prior to that she was Vice President in Corporate Finance at Össur. Eva Soley has also worked as an independent consultant and investor but started her career within the financial services industry and worked at Kaupthing bank for many years. Eva Soley holds a Master of Science Degree in Financial Engineering and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Management Systems, with a minor in Economics from Columbia University in New York.
Ivar S. Kristinsson has served as Managing Director of Icelandair’s Fleet since May 2018 after having been with the Company since 2010 as Director of Resource Mangement. Prior to that, he was a Director in Operations at Promens from 2006 to 2008 and Project Manager at Icelandair from 2000 to 2005. Ivar holds an MSc. Degree in Industrial Engineering from University of Iceland and an MBA in Corporate Finance from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Tomas Ingason has been appointed Chief Information Officer of a new division, Digital Development and Information Technology. He was Chief Commercial Officer of WOW air in 2018 and Director of Rapid Digitization at Arion Bank between 2016 and 2018. Tomas was Chief Business Development Officer of WOW air in 2014. Prior to that he was Management Consultant at Bain & Company in Copenhagen and served as Director of Revenue Management and Pricing at Icelandair for several years. Tomas holds an MBA Degree from MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston, MSc. Degree of Engineering in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and a BSc. Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iceland.