Icelandair has said that it is officially in active discussions with Airbus and Boeing about replacing its ageing 757-200/300 fleet.
Icelandair made a significant loss in 2018, had to sell its hotel group to balance the books and watched as rival WOW almost collapsed, loosing more than half its short-haul aircraft and all of its long-haul.
The airline – expert as it is in 757 operations and maintenance, has decided the aircraft are not viable long term and it needs cheaper to run and maintain alternatives.
While the airline has an all Boeing fleet at present, it hasn’t ruled out the A321 which Airbus is about to launch in the XLR version. That aircraft is an almost direct capability replacement Boeing has nothing to match.
Of course the 737 Max series will be a contender but it just isn’t, in any format, as much value as the A321XLR proposal and that will available within a year.
Ideally Icelandair would make an excellent customer for the possible 797-X, but it’s too far away to make viable sense now.
The airline’s fleet currently consists of 25 757-200s, 2 757-300s, 4 767-300ERs, and 3 737-8. The airline is expected to receive a total of 16 737 MAX aircraft (9 737-8’s and 7 737-9s), over the next few years.