Icelandair has a flexible fleet that marries commonality with varying sizes, capabilities and ownership costs. It consists of a mix of aircraft suitable for different missions within the network, providing the airline with flexibility.

Type Icelandair Cargo Loftleiðir AIC* Fleet 31.12.20 Owned Leased Change from 31.12.19
B757-200 16 2 6 24 21 3 -5
B757-300 2 2 2
B737 MAX 8 5 5 2 3
B737 MAX 9 1 1 1
B767-300 4 2 6 5 1
B737-700 1 1 1
B737-800 1 1 1
Bombardier Q200 3 3 3
Bombardier Q400 3 3 3
Total 28 2 10 6 46 36 10 -5
* AIC = Air Iceland Connect

Icelandair Group fleet

The Boeing 757 offer a long range and low ownership costs which makes them ideal for the US West Coast and Canada operations. Low ownership cost is beneficial during the low season and to maintain fleet size flexibility.

The Boeing 767 offer high passenger loads along with great cargo capacity into high density markets in Europe and on the US East Coast. Crew commonality with Boeing 757 increases operational efficiency through for example, more network flexibility, increased pilot utilization and lower training costs.

The Boeing 737-MAX8 and MAX9 offer lower operating costs into Europe and North America. They are perfect to open new markets as well as keeping costs low within the Company's core operations. The MAX aircraft can serve 85% of destinations and 90% of flights in Icelandair’s 2020 flight schedule.

The Bombardier Q200 are capable for the short and often rough airfields that are prominent in Greenland and some of the Company's smaller domestic destinations, with the ability to add extra cargo hold when needed.

The Bombardier Q400 have excellent range and speed, along with longer fuselage, making them ideal in shorter international flights as well as being well utilized for the more popular domestic destinations.

Fleet strategy

The Company’s base fleet plan does not require additional aircraft commitments until 2024. The Boeing 757 phase-out continues and will be managed in line with aircraft capacity requirement as new aircraft are added to the fleet. In 2020, three of the Company´s Boeing 757s were sold for freighter conversions and other four Boeing 757 retired and entered a part-out and teardown programs. Icelandair has been exploring several options regarding the long-term replacement of the Boeing 757 and has added several Boeing 737 MAX to its fleet.

Within its domestic and regional markets, the deployment of the Bombardier Q200s with their 37 seats and the Bombardier Q400s with their 76 seats, preserves the Company’s flexibility to meet differences in market demand, while at the same time streamlining operations by focusing on a single aircraft manufacturer within domestic and regional operations that provides the economic advantage of being able to offer the same training for all flight crew. In order to adjust the required number of aircraft in line with changes in the regional market, Air Iceland Connect entered into a dry lease contract of one of its Q400 to LAM Mozambique Airlines. The aircraft was delivered in December 2019 and the contract is for five years.

The long-term fleet plan of the Company will remain under review and the Company is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in aircraft markets as the industry reorganizes.

Boeing 737 MAX recertified

Aviation authorities have recertified the Boeing MAX 737 as safe to fly after an extensive inspection process with worldwide participation. The aircraft design was recertified, and changes made to ensure the safety of the aircraft, in addition to increased pilot training requirements. Icelandair's experienced pilots and aircraft mechanics have been working hard on the preparation of the Boeing MAX 737 return to service. The aircraft is being updated in accordance with the requirements of the aviation authorities. Icelandair is one of the few European airlines that own a Boeing 737 MAX flight simulator, and the airline's pilots are undergoing extensive theoretical and practical training. All Boeing 737 MAX in operation will also have taken several test flights before returning to Icelandair's schedule. The Boeing 737 MAX are efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft that will, without doubt, increase the Company's flexibility and strengthen its route network. The aircraft will gradually be reintroduced to Icelandair’s flight schedule from March 2021 and onwards.

Teardown of four of the Company's Boeing 757

In 2020, Icelandair decided to retire and disassemble four of its Boeing 757 aircraft. Some components of the aircraft were used in the Company's operations, while others will be sold. Two of the aircraft went to our specialized partner in Kansas City, who took care of the disassembly. Our staff in the hangar in Keflavík handled the disassembly of the other two aircraft, and this is the first time such work has been performed in Iceland. It takes few weeks to disassemble each machine, but a lot of preparation is required from Technical and Maintenance Operations.

In recent years, the technical and maintenance departments of Icelandair and Loftleidir have employed teams that specialize in maximizing the value each aircraft that are completing their service. The maintenance status, age and other characteristics of each plane form the basis of the decision making - which aircraft are disassembled and which are sold. Some are better suited to be sold for continued operations while others are more valuable in spare parts and recycling. Once the components have been removed, up to 95% of the aircraft is recycled and the parties involved have signed the “Icelandair supplier code of conduct“, which was recently implemented.