Icelandair returns the Boeing 737 MAX To Service

After a multi-month campaign to reassure its customers that the 737 MAX is safe to fly, Icelandair has returned the 737 MAX into service. One of the first flights operated took place on Monday, March 8th, from Keflavik International Airport to Copenhagen Airport. If all goes according to plan, that same aircraft operates a service to Paris today.

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Icelandair has a very full website section dedicated to educating customers on the safety protocols in place to ensure 737 MAX flight safety. Photo: Icelandair

The MAX is back in Iceland

According to Fresh Aviation, Icelandair’s official return-to-service date for the 737 MAX was on March 8th. Data from verifies that one 737 MAX 8, registered as TF-ICN, operated a round-trip service to Copenhagen (CPH) from Icelandair’s home at Keflavik International (KEF).

The outbound service, FI204, departed Keflavik at 07:55 and arrived in Copenhagen at 11:38. After less than 90 minutes on the ground, the return journey, flight FI205, departed at 13:05 and arrived back at KEF at 15:08. All times listed are local.

The same jet departs for Paris today as flight FI542 and returns as FI543.

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The outbound service had a flight time of two hours and 43 minutes, while the inbound flight took two hours and 55 minutes. Photo:

TF-ICN is just over two-years-old and has MSN 44356 and Line Number 7375. It is configured with 16 business class seats and 144 economy seats.

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A comprehensive public campaign

It was about three weeks ago, in mid-February, that we reported that Icelandair had ferried two of its MAX jets home to Iceland from storage in Spain. The aircraft were spotted making the journey on February 14th, after having been in storage since October 2019. Icelandair’s MAX jets have spent a considerable amount of time on the ground at Lleida Alguaire Airport in Spain.


It was in late January that Icelandair launched its extensive website page dedicated to reassuring potential travelers that its MAX aircraft were safe to fly. The webpage goes over the recertification process, the airline’s return-to-service plan, and emphasizes the company’s commitment to safety.

“Taking 20 months, the recertification process involved expert engineers, scientists, researchers, mechanics and pilots from various countries worldwide, including independent representatives from NASA and the US Air Force…Boeing carried out more than 1350 test fights and, in addition, all MAX pilots and aircraft mechanics have had (or will undergo) additional training.” -Icelandair’s 737 MAX webpage

Not ready to fly on a MAX plane just yet?

Icelandair says that it is “fully transparent” with its customers and will specify the aircraft type during the booking process.

“We understand our customers who choose to fly on another type of aircraft for the time being. Flexible policies are therefore temporarily available for all flights on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft,” the airline’s website notes.

Passengers that have booked directly with Icelandair, and have a flight on a Boeing 737 MAX are able to change their booking for free (restricted to travel date and route). Customers are also able to cancel their booking and receive a travel credit voucher.

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Icelandair has a mix of MAX 8 and MAX 9 jets. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons 

This allowance, however, has a few conditions:

  • Available for all passengers traveling on flights operated on 737 MAX through July 31, 2021.
  • Valid for all Icelandair tickets (ticket number starts with 108) on flights operated on 737 MAX.
  • Valid for all Icelandair classes of service.

Will you be flying with Icelandair anytime soon? Let us know in the comments.