Icelandair considers smaller aircraft types to open new markets

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Icelandair is considering whether to introduce smaller aircraft types to its fleet to provide greater flexibility when entering new markets.

The carrier has 10 Boeing 757-200s and a 757-300 in its mainline fleet.

Speaking to ATI at its Reykjavik base, Icelandair Group chief operating officer Sigthor Einarsson said the 757 suited the carrier's network "perfectly".

But he adds that the type has sometimes "proven too big a leap", adding: "There's no shorter version and it's a bit big to develop smaller markets.

"If we had smaller aircraft it would be easier to develop our route network to smaller centres."

Einarsson says the airline has "decided to explore" new aircraft types - notably the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 - and is in consultation with both manufacturers.

The carrier is looking at possible entry alongside its 757s around spring 2010, although it has not indicated how many aircraft might be needed.

Icelandair Group's various leasing, cargo and charter businesses operate a varied fleet which includes 737, 757 and 767 as well as A320 aircraft.