It’s no secret that Icelandair has been contemplating its options to replace its Boeing 757 aircraft. After all, with the type holding an average age of approximately 25 years, it’s only natural that the airline is interested in continuing its fleet modernization process.

Major project

The Icelandic operator expects to stop flying its passenger 757s by around 2026. As a result, the company is carefully planning for this Boeing single-aisler’s phase-out.

According to ch-aviation, Icelandair’s 757s are split between the following:

  • 757-200 x 18
  • 757-200(PCF) x 1
  • 757-200(PF) x 1
  • 757-300 x 2

Therefore, we can expect at least 20 new arrivals to replace these units this decade. Icelandair President & CEO Bogi Nils Bogason recently explained to Simple Flying that his airline is in the middle of the process of deciding on the complete replacement for the 757 fleet. The firm launched a major project last year to deal with the situation. Thus, the carrier has been intently analyzing and deciding upon its long-term fleet strategy.

Icelandair Boeing 757

Photo: Icelandair

The next stage

The outcome of the program has led to two primary options for Icelandair. These would offer the required balance across the carrier’s network.

Bogason shares:

“One option is to have the MAX as our core aircraft, with a few 767 aircraft that we have today. Perhaps in the long-term future, the 767s might be replaced by 787. The other option is to introduce the Airbus A321LR and perhaps XLR into our fleet, as a replacement for the 757, and start transitioning into an Airbus fleet.”

Both manufacturing powerhouses are now going over their solutions with the carrier. It won’t be too long before a final decision is made.

As Bogason concludes:

“Last month, we issued the RFP (request for proposal) to Airbus and Boeing, and we are now having a dialogue with those companies on our long-term term fleet needs. Our plan is to make a decision in this respect in the coming months.”

Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX

Photo: Getty Images

Battle of the narrowbodies

Icelandair already has 10 737 MAX 8s and four 737 MAX 9s in its fleet. Notably, the airline flies some of the longest MAX 8 routes with its holdings. It deploys the plane all the way to Seattle, Denver, and Orlando from Keflavik. So, it’s already familiar with medium to long-haul MAX operations. The support of the 787 widebody would also undoubtedly do wonders for the overall modernization initiative.

There are no Airbus aircraft at the airline’s facilities. So, it would be a significant shift to move toward an Airbus fleet. Still, the A321LR is already seeing praise from the likes of TAP Air Portugal, JetBlue, and Aer Lingus when it comes to transatlantic narrowbody hops. The A321XLR would then further bolster opportunities, with its range of 8,700 km (4,700 NM). This figure beats the A321LR by 1,600 km (700 NM).

Either solution will see plenty of action across Icelandair’s broad network. With 2023 fast approaching, we can expect a confirmation sooner than later.

What are your thoughts about Icelandair’s options to replace the Boeing 757? What do you make of the overall plans of the airline? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

  • rsz_airbus_50th_years_anniversary_formation_flight_-_air_to_air


    Stock Code:

    Date Founded:

    Guillaume Faury

    Headquarters Location:
    Toulouse, France

    Key Product Lines:
    Airbus A220, Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Airbus A340, Airbus A350, Airbus A380

    Business Type:

  • 787-8 Dreamliner


    Stock Code:

    Date Founded:

    Dave Calhoun

    Headquarters Location:
    Chicago, USA

    Key Product Lines:
    Boeing 737, Boeing 747, Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Boeing 787

    Business Type:


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