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Icelandair expects 737 Max to re-enter service in March

Icelandair is expecting the Boeing 737 Max to return to service in March next year, 12 months after its grounding.

The operator, which has several of the type parked, disclosed its expectation as it unveiled a flight timetable for 2020 which will involve a 4.8% reduction in capacity.

Icelandair will cut capacity by 11% to North American destinations, as a result of withdrawal of services to San Francisco, Kansas City and Tampa.

It will also reduce frequency to a number of other North American cities owing to "market developments", it says.

But its capacity on European routes will be hiked by a modest 2%, with a schedule that includes a new service to be revealed in the next few weeks.

Icelandair plans to operate additional frequencies to cities including Copenhagen, Helsinki, Berlin, Zurich, Madrid and Milan. It will trim frequency on certain routes such as Paris, Frankfurt and Hamburg.

The airline says it will concentrate on increasing the number of passengers travelling to and from Iceland itself.

“Our main focus next year will be on improving the profitability of our route network," says chief executive Bogi Nils Bogason.

"We will focus on our key markets where we see high demands and decrease frequency of flights on less profitable routes."

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