Icelandair announced on April 6 that it had decided to replace its fleet of Boeing 757 jets with the Airbus A321XLR.
To this end, the Icelandic carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to acquire 13 aircraft with an option for a further 12 units.
Deliveries, however, will only start in 2029, which will see Icelandair fly four A321LRs, which has almost as great a range, through leasing from 2025.
“The financing of the aircraft is yet to be determined but the Company will explore financing options closer to the delivery dates”, explained the airline.
At Icelandair, the A321XLR will have a configuration with about 190 seats, seven more than the Boeing 757.
The carrier strengthened its ties with Boeing aircraft – in addition to 21 757s, it also has five 767s and 18 737 MAX jets of versions 8 and 9 – stating that they will play an important role in the coming years.
Despite this, the impending Airbus deal will put an end to the exclusive partnership with Boeing and a sign that the US planemaker cannot offer a product as capable as the A321XLR.
“We are happy to announce that we have now reached a conclusion regarding Icelandair’s future fleet. We have decided that the capable and fuel-efficient Airbus aircraft, A321XLR and A321LR, will become the successors of the Boeing 757 we are gradually retiring”, said Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair.
The Boeing 757 has been the cornerstone of Icelandair’s operations since 1990. Its unique capabilities have underpinned the successful development of our extensive route network and competitive transatlantic hub by leveraging Iceland’s unique geographical location to connect North America and Europe via Iceland,” he acknowledged.