Icelandair Group has for more than 70 years had an extensive influence on Icelandic history and through its operations the Company has played a key role in shaping modern Iceland. With a network providing Icelanders with direct regular flights to over 20 major cities in Europe and North America, Icelandair Group has been responsible for providing this small island nation with transport services and communication opportunities that are second to none, and at the same time the Company has built up tourism as an important sector of the Icelandic economy. With the recent acquisitions of Travel Service and Latcharter, Icelandair Group now has roots in the Czech Republic and Latvia respectively.
The transportation of passengers and freight creates value for individuals and for society at large. Icelandair Group contributes to a long-term high standard of living and quality of life for its employees. It aims to provide a physically and mentally favourable working environment and opportunities for all its employees to develop as professionals and as human beings. By its existence and activities, the Group also contributes to economic and social welfare in the countries and societies where it operates.
The various companies within Icelandair Group also support a wide variety of community activities throughout the year. They are among the main sponsors of various public events, as well as directly supporting the activities of numerous organisations. The individual companies within Icelandair Group each support a number of worthy causes. The following is a brief list of some of the principal beneficiaries.
The Icelandair Special Children Travel Fund
The main objective of this fund is to help children suffering from long-term illness or other adverse circumstances to see something of the world. The fund is supported both directly by Icelandair and through the generous donations of its customers. Each year, the Icelandair Special Children Travel Fund enables about 50 children and their families, from all over the world, to go on their “dream journey”. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, former President of Iceland, is the patron of the fund. Detailed information is available on www.vildarborn.is.
Icelandic Musical Talent
Icelandair Group is proud of its support for Icelandic musical talent, support that helps talented musicians right from the outset, from the first performance at Musiktilraunir (Musical Experiments), an Icelandic music competition which provides an opportunity for “garage bands” to step into the limelight and perform their music, the winners of which are rewarded by Icelandair with a performance spot at the annual music festival Iceland Airwaves. Icelandair is the founder and main sponsor of Iceland Airwaves (or Icelandair Waves!), a music event that started in 1999 as a showcase for Icelandic musical talent for foreign record company executives. Since then, Iceland Airwaves has grown and blossomed and is now an integral part of the cultural life in Reykjavik, with over 150 artists performing in various Reykjavik city locations. The fruits of the festival’s labour have been ripening and today many Icelandic artists have made their way on to the international music scene. For this reason, the logical next step was the formation of the Reykjavik Loftbrú fund (Reykjavik Airbridge), which Icelandair, along with the city of Reykjavik and the Association of Icelandic Musicians, initiated. The fund enables talented Icelandic musicians to travel abroad to perform, promote and market their music outside Iceland. Air Iceland is also a sponsor of the Eyrarrós award, a major Icelandic art award that in 2007 was awarded to the “Aldrei fór ég suður” festival, which also is sponsored by Air Iceland.
Icelandair Group is proud of its support for various cultural events, and was a pioneer in this field. The first sponsorship agreement was signed in Iceland back in 1972, when Icelandair became the main sponsor of The Reykjavik Arts Festival, held biannually since 1970 and annually since 2004. The Festival is one of the oldest and most respected arts festivals in Northern Europe, with the purpose of promoting Icelandic and international culture in all fields of art. With foodrelated travel as an ever-growing market segment, Icelandair established in 2001 the Food & Fun festival, an event which combines outstanding culinary skills, fresh natural ingredients, Icelandic outdoor adventure and the world-famous Reykjavik nightlife to create the ultimate recipe for fun. The core element of the festival involves world-acclaimed chefs collaborating with Reykjavik’s best restaurants. Each chef is assigned to one of the participating restaurants, where they prepare a special menu made exclusively from Icelandic ingredients. The menu is offered at all the restaurants for an entire week. In addition, the chefs themselves are on site for three nights during the festival week. Icelandair is the founder and owner of the Food & Fun event.
Icelandic theatrical talent is growing in popularity outside Iceland and Icelandair has provided support by partnering with The National Theatre of Iceland to enable it to promote Icelandic theatre abroad. In addition, the Talia Airbridge fund was established for Icelandic actors, directors and writers. The aim of the fund is to support participants in the theatrical arts to perform and market themselves abroad. Icelandair, in co-operation with the city of Reykjavik, the Actors’ Association and Glitnir Bank, is a sponsor of this fund.
The companies within Icelandair Group support numerous sports organizations. Icelandair prides itself on supporting many of the Icelandic national sports teams, as they travel abroad and symbolise Iceland wherever they go. The Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) was established in 1947, and Icelandair has been its faithful sponsor for a long time, a fact highlighted in Icelandair’s latest advertising campaign. Travel Service is the official carrier of the Czech national football team. The Icelandic Handball Federation (HSÍ) is another sports association whose athletes have travelled the world, proudly bearing the Icelandic flag on their hearts and the Icelandair logo on their chests. With the aim of attracting more and more runners each year, Icelandair has from the beginning been one of the main sponsors of the Reykjavik Marathon, which is held on the third weekend in August every year and has been running for more than 20 years. Icelandair is the main sponsor of the Icelandair Open Bridge Tournament, which is an annual event, held each February. The tournament has been staged for a quarter of a century and has attracted some of the best bridge players in the world, many of whom have returned again and again. Icelandic horses are unique animals, and as such they have their own event, the Icelandair Horse Festival. Landsmót is the Icelandic name of this biannually National Horse Show of Iceland, a unique and unforgettable occasion - the biggest event involving Icelandic horses in the world. At the Landsmót people come from all over the world to see the best horses in Iceland performing in various different types of equestrian competitions.