Icelandair blames 737MAX for severe losses

Icelandair committed to Boeing and the 737MAX having had a long relationship with the manufacturer. That now seems to be in tatters following a $70m loss the airline is placing squarely at Boeing’s doorstep. Even worse the airline said that was the bottom end of its loss estimate – it could go as high as $90m

On the day the new FAA administrator announced there was no timetable to get the MAX back into service, Icelandair in its annual results, said that this summer the MAX should have represented 27% of the airlines passenger capacity.

Forced into hiring short term wet leases and expensive temporary aircraft, the airline has had to bring in a new investor, who provided $42m in capital.

What really seems to have gotten under the company’s skin is that based on the adjusted figures – which would have included an operational MAX fleet, they should have made a profit of around $26m.

There’s no doubt from the tone of the communication that Icelandair are at their wits end with Boeing over this. If they can’t negotiate a massive compensation deal – which would need to be close to two free aircraft – the fact the airline is talking to Airbus about 757 replacements may mean a total shift to The A320/21neo.

You could hardly blame them.