Icelandair confirms deal for Airbus A321XLR to replace 757

Icelandic airline will receive the new ultra-long-range variant from 2029

Icelandair confirmed on July 6 a firm order to acquire 13 Airbus A321XLR jets. This is the first time that the carrier, founded almost 90 years ago, has ordered aircraft from the European manufacturer.

In addition to acquiring the A321XLR, Icelandair also plans to lease another four A321LRs. By introducing these aircraft, the carrier intends to explore new market opportunities by taking advantage of the good range figures of the long-range versions based on the A321neo.

“The efficient A321XLR aircraft will further strengthen our business model, increase our flexibility and provide opportunities for future growth, as well as further support our sustainability efforts. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2029 but we plan to have four Airbus aircraft in operation before summer of 2025 and have now secured the lease of new A321LR aircraft”, said Bogi Nils Bogason, CEO of Icelandair.

By selecting the A321XLR, Icelandair repeats the route of other companies that ordered the new long-range jet from Airbus to replace the old Boeing 757, an aircraft of a category that was abandoned by the US planemaker.

Icelandair Boeing 757-200 (BriYYZ)

The Icelandic company currently has 17 models of the type, in versions 757-200 and 757-300. The company has scheduled the retirement of these aircraft from 2026.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Icelandair for placing their trust and confidence in Airbus. It fills us with immense pride to welcome Icelandair as a new Airbus customer. By harnessing the exceptional performance of the A321XLR, your airline is forging a path of sustainable growth with remarkable efficiency and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions,” said Christian Scherer, CEO of Airbus International.

Icelandair is the 15th airline to order the A321XLR. With this new order, the order book for the new Airbus aircraft reached 317 aircraft. The debut of the model, which has a range of 8,700 km, is expected in mid-2025.


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