Icelandair: Boeing-737 MAX Not Expected to Return This Summer

Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX

In a press release yesterday, Icelandair stated that it did not expect the return of its Boeing-737 MAX planes this summer (the MAX planes were expected to return to service in February). The statement follows recent news from Boeing regarding ongoing cooperation with international aviation authorities to ensure the aircraft’s safe return to service. Icelandair Group, owner and holding company of the airline, also aims to seek further compensation for the grounding of the MAX planes.

In a press release from Icelandair yesterday, the airline stated that it does not expect the return of its Boeing-737 MAX planes this summer. Icelandair expects the continued delay to have a “minimal impact,” considering that the company had designed the 2020 flight schedule with the possibility of further delay in the lifting of the MAX suspension:

“The financial impact of this further suspension will be considerably less this year than in 2019. In addition to the above-mentioned mitigating measures [,] the current leasing agreements were made further in advance than in the year 2019 and are[,] therefore[,] on better terms. The additional aircraft will also be operated with Icelandair crews instead of external crews last year that were leased [on] short notice. The company has[,] therefore[,] been able to organise its operations in 2020 with this possible scenario in mind.”

The press release adds that Icelandair will continue to emphasise the tourism market to Iceland. The company expects to transport at least as many passengers to Iceland this year as in 2019.

As previously reported, Icelandair Group has reached two interim agreements with Boeing regarding compensation for the company’s financial loss resulting from the MAX suspension. “Continued discussions with Boeing regarding further compensation are ongoing,” the press release states.