July 8, 2019

Establishing a World-Class Training Center at Home for Icelandair

Case Study
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TRU Simulation + Training offers the expertise and personalized support airlines need to sustain a growing business. In just four years, TRU helped Icelandair completely transform its operations by adding three simulators to its home base. In turn, the airline was able to drastically reduce the time and expenses spent on sending pilots abroad for training.


TRU helped the airline reduce wasted costs by opening a training center at its headquarters.

  • 50% reduction in training downtime
  • 106% increase in passengers since TRU collaboration

A Growing Airline with Growing Needs

Icelandair is the flag carrier of Iceland, operating services to 48 cities in 16 countries on both sides of the Atlantic. Along with tourism traffic to and from the country, its geographic position makes Icelandair convenient for one-stop transatlantic flights. From 2012 to 2017, the airline experienced a 100 percent increase in passengers. While this signaled an exciting time of growth, its training capabilities needed to expand as well.

The Costs of Training Abroad

Before TRU’s involvement, Icelandair relied on a program located in Copenhagen to train its 150 pilots. Every pilot dispatched for training required two days for traveling, on top of two days in the classroom. Those were four days of downtime that could have been spent more productively. The expenses of travel for each pilot added up quickly, and Icelandair needed a cost-effective method of training pilots closer to home.

Bringing Training Back to Iceland

TRU and Icelandair entered into a joint venture to bring world-class simulators and on-site support to the airline’s headquarters in Keflavík International Airport. Through this joint venture — TRU Flight Training Iceland — TRU provided the design, setup and operation of the center, including its Quality Management System (QMS). Seven TRU employees operate the center, managing administrative work while providing instructors for cabin crew, door and fire training. TRU provided Icelandair with three Boeing simulators: 757-200, 737-8 MAX and 767-300. Because the simulators correspond exactly with the airline’s actual fleet lineup, pilots have a better, more useful training experience.

Supporting Sustained Growth

The ability to train pilots on-site has assisted the airline to grow its pilot base from 150 people in 2012 to 640 in 2019. Icelandair also grew its fleet from 20 aircraft to 36, because at-home training allowed it to focus on expanding business. Significantly decreasing the number of pilots going abroad for training has not only resulted in major cost savings, but also supports more uptime for its pilots in general. With TRU’s involvement, Icelandair is positioned for continued worldwide success

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Katherine Murphey



About TRU Simulation + Training

TRU Simulation + Training Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, delivers innovative, total aviation training solutions to the commercial and military markets while providing superior technical support and customer service. Headquartered in Goose Creek, S.C., the company is known for its high-fidelity training devices, pilot and maintenance training, military mission training, and aviation training services and support. More information is available at www.TRUSimulation.com.

About Textron Inc

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.