Icelandair recorded a third-quarter profit of $103.1 million, up 20% from a net profit of $85.8 million in the year-ago period. Third-quarter operating income was up 3% to $429.4 million year-over-year.

A combination of higher passenger revenues and lower fuel costs were the main reasons behind the improvement, Icelandair CFO Bogi Nils Bogason said.

Nine-month net profits rose 37% to $111 million, compared to $81 million for the year-ago period.

Full-year EBITDA is now estimated to be in the $210-$215 million range, compared to $154 million last year, with prospects for the last quarter of the year showing strengthening bookings, the North Atlantic carrier said.

Third-quarter passenger numbers rose 18% to 1.14 million, outstripping a 15% rise in ASKs to 4 million. Load factor for the quarter rose 3.1% to a record 87.3% year-over-year. The carrier said 56% of passengers transited through its Reykjavik hub. For years, the Icelandic capital has served as a stopover point for passengers connecting between Europe and North America.

This year has seen the start of a fleet renewal for the carrier, which has long championed the Boeing 757 for its relatively long, thin routes. Its existing fleet consists of 24 Boeing 757-200s and -300s, which are being joined by two Boeing 767s. Three Bombardier Q400s will replace five Fokker 50s next year. In 2018, the first of 16 Boeing 737 MAX variants (nine -8s and seven -9s) will start to arrive.