Icelandair Delays Boeing 737 MAX Return To May 2020

Icelandair has admitted that it doesn’t feel that its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will be ready for operations until May 2020. This news follows previous reports that the carrier would be expecting them back in service from March.

Icelandair 737 MAX
There is yet another setback regarding the Boeing 737 MAX. Photo: Boeing

Another delay

According to an Icelandair press release, the delay shouldn’t have much of an impact on its passengers. This is because the airline will fly more 757 planes next year than it previously planned.

Additionally, it has entered into a leasing agreement for two Boeing 737-800 NGs, which will join the firm’s fleet from spring. Furthermore, it is looking to lease one more aircraft to support its operations.

At the end of November, Icelandair stated that it was confident that its 737 MAXs would be back in action by March. It had even started to plan routes with these currently grounded planes in mind. However, this new update means that there has had to be replacement aircraft on these planned services.

Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX
The airline received its first 737 MAX aircraft in March 2018. Photo: Boeing

Growing costs

The grounding has caused a huge headache for airlines across the globe. Several companies had relied heavily on the relatively new aircraft type to help with operations heading into the new decade.

Boeing previously confirmed that it had set aside $5bn to cover compensation for airline damages. Icelandair claims that it experienced an 11 percent drop in capacity compared to previous years due to the saga.

The firm has reached interim agreements with Boeing for compensation to cover the losses. However, the carrier is still in discussions with the manufacturer regarding further recompense.

Icelandair 737 MAX Aircraft
Icelandair is hoping for more compensation as a result of the impact that the grounding has had on its operations. Photo: Boeing

Important process

Once the 737 MAX is cleared to fly by authorities, it may take another month or so before it is operational for Icelandair. Southwest shared that it has already started planning the process of returning its units to service. Technical updates, inspections, and pilot training are all key aspects that need to be considered before the aircraft can fly again.

Icelandair shared that it will continue to monitor any advancements made by international aviation authorities. This will allow the firm to ensure that the 737 MAX is fully safe before it returns to the skies.

The Keflavik-based operator currently holds six of the jets within its fleet. Five of these are MAX 8s, the type that suffered the fatal accidents.

The other one that it holds is a MAX 9, which is the larger variant of the type. In addition, Icelandair has another MAX 8 and two MAX 9s on order. However, it will be waiting in line with several other airlines for these planes to be delivered.

Simple Flying reached out to Icelandair about its Boeing 737 MAX return date. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What do you think about this update by Icelandair regarding its 737 MAX planes? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.