Commemorating the ninetieth birthday of Alfreð Elíasson
Today March 16th Keilir Aviation Academy will host an event at Reykjavík Airport to honor the entrepreneurship of Alfreð Elíasson founder and former Managing Director of Loftleidir and later Icelandair. The event is held to commemorate the ninetieth birthday of Alfreð born on this day.Alfreð was born and raised in Reykjavík and graduated from the Commercial College of Iceland in 1936. He did his professional flight training at the Flight Academy of Konni Jóhannesson in Winnepeg. Later he studied at the Aviation Academy of the Royal Canadian Air Force were he gained his Captains license.On the 10th of March 1944 Loftleidir Icelandic was founded. From the start Alfreð was Captain and Chief Captain and in 1954 he became Managing Director.The Saga of Loftleidir became one of the great commercial adventures in Iceland during the 20th Century. There was an adventurous spirit surrounding the work of Loftleidir Icelandic and the airline became the first low cost carrier in the world. The operations of Loftleidir Icelandic reached a global scale. One can say that as with the British Empire in its time, that the sun never set on Loftleidir. To demonstrate the importance of Loftleidir Icelandic it can be mentioned that in the year 1968 the revenue in foreign currency of the company was three times what the fishing fleet of Iceland gained that year. Yet today the hub and spoke system of Icelandair is rooted in the net operated by Loftleidir Icelandic.On the 20th of July in 1973 Lofleidir Icelandic and Icelandair merged to become Icelandair. Alfreð was one of the Managing Directors until 1978.
Alfreð sat on the board of Loftleidir from the start and on the board of Icelandair from 1973-1981. He sat on the boards of affiliated companies to both Loftleidir Icelandic and Icelandair. He was one of the founders of the Icelandic Air Line Pilot´s Association and a member of the first board. He was also one of the founders of the Air Ground Rescue Team.
Alfreð passed away in 1988.