Icelandair intends to decide over “the next few months” whether to introduce Airbus types to its all-Boeing fleet.
In May 2019 – following the Boeing 737 Max’s grounding two months earlier – the Icelandic flag carrier disclosed that it was evaluating Airbus A321neos as replacements for 757s, and that a switch to an all-Airbus fleet was also a possibility.
While the continued uncertainty surrounding the 737 Max’s return to service has “delayed” that fleet review, “conclusions are expected in the next few months”, says Icelandair.
Scenarios under consideration as part of the long-term fleet strategy review include sticking with an existing plan to replace 757s with 737 Max jets; introducing Airbuses alongside the 737 Max; or switching to a fleet entirely supplied by the European manufacturer.
Cirium fleets data shows that Icelandair has five 737 Max 8s and a Max 9 in storage, and has orders for another 10 Max jets. It in-service passenger fleet includes 23 757-200s, two 757-300s and four 767-300s.
The carrier says it is “still anticipating” the delivery of the 10 on-order Max jets, and predicts that three of the aircraft will be delivered later this year.
Under a previous schedule, three aircraft were due to be delivered in 2019, five this year, and two in 2021.
Icelandair warns, however, that “the risk of further delays is increasing”.
The 737 Max grounding “already had significant adverse effect on the company’s operations and profitability and will continue to do so while the suspension remains in place”, it notes.
It is monitoring the situation and maintains “rolling 12-18 month contingency plans to ensure that all mitigating actions are taken”.