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As an airline, Icelandair traces its roots to the year 1937 when a fledgling airline, Flugfélag Akureyrar, was founded at Akureyri on the north coast of Iceland.

In 1943 the company moved its headquarters to the capital, Reykjavík, and changed its name to Flugfélag Íslands, 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.

Initially, both companies concentrated on Icelandic domestic air services. However, in 1945 Flugfélag Íslands 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.

In 1973 Flugfélag Íslands and Loftleidir merged 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, and then a single type fleet of Boeing 757 was established in the years preceding 2003

In January 2003 Flugleidir became a holding company with 11 subsidiaries in the travel and tourism industry in Iceland, Icelandair being the largest subsidiary.

In 2005 the name Flugleidir was changed to FL Group and the holding company announced its emphasis on investment.

In May 2005, a Boeing 767 aircraft was incorporated into Icelandair's route network serving San Francisco, 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 acquisitions and corporations were divided into groups – the Icelandair Group being one of them.
In December 2006 Icelandair Group was listed as ICEAIR on the Iceland Stock Exchange after being sold from FL Group.

On June 3, 2007 Icelandair Group celebrated 70 years of operations.

During the second half of 2007 Icelandair Group expanded to the Czech Republic by purchasing the majority of the stock in Travel Service a.s.

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.


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