The flag carrier of Iceland has loaded in the first of its planned 737MAX8 routes. The first of nine 737MAX8 aircraft will be delivered in early 2018 and will enter service in the end of March.
Berlin Tegel will be the first destination to see Iceland Air’s 737MAX8 beginning March 19th. While Icelandair currently operates a fleet of 28 Boeing 757s and 4 Boeing 767s. The 737MAX will replace the 757 on some of Icelandair’s thinner routes, while the 757s will be used to expansion to North America which includes additional frequencies and the beginning of flights to Dallas.
North America will see Icelandair’s 737MAX8 beginning May 16th in Cleveland, one of Icelandair’s newly announced routes. Philadelphia will receive 737MAX8 service beginning a week later.
Throughout Spring of 2018 and into 2021, Icelandair will take delivery of a total of 16 737MAX. In addition to the nine 737MAX8, Icelandair will take seven 737MAX9, the larger variant of the 737 family. It is not yet known if the 737MAX9 will be used for expansion or replacement and phasing out of the Boeing 757-200s, as they are of similar size.
The 737MAX8 will replace the 757-200 on the following routes:
Reykjavik Keflavik – Berlin Tegel (TXL) beginning March 19th 5 times a week
Reykjavik Keflavik – Paris Orly (ORY) beginning May 1st 6 times a week
Reykjavik Keflavik – Birmingham (BHX) beginning May 2nd 2 times a week
Reykjavik Keflavik – Hamburg (HAM) beginning May 3rd 1 time a week
Reykjavik Keflavik – Billund (BLL) beginning May 7th 1 time a week
Reykjavik Keflavik – Cleveland (CLE) beginning May 16th 5 times a week
Reykjavik Keflavik – Philadelphia (PHL) beginning May 22nd 4 times a week
Reykjavik Keflavik – Amsterdam (AMS) beginning May 24th 1 time a week increasing to two
times a week on June 4th.
Reykjavik Keflavik – Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) beginning June 1st 1 time a week
Reykjavik Keflavik – Halifax (YHZ) beginning June 2nd 4 times a week
Icelandair says that its 737MAX8 will seat 153 passengers, but the seat map displays seating for 156 including 16 “Saga” business class seats, 12 Economy Cmfort seats, and 128 normal economy seats. The 737MAX9 will seat 172 people, 11 fewer people than Icelandair’s 757-200.
In addition to Icelandair, Air Canada will also begin to fly its 737MAX aircraft across the Atlantic. Air Canada will take delivery of its first 737MAX8 aircraft within the next couple of months. The Canadian flag carrier will take delivery of 49 737MAX8 and 13 737MAX9 as part of the replacement for its A319 and A320 aircraft.
In June 2018, the 737MAX8 will be put into service on new routes from Toronto and Montreal to Shannon and Dublin, Ireland respectively. Both routes will be served four times a week. Both routes will be flown exclusively during the summer season.
Before flying across the Atlantic, Air Canada will fly its 737MAX8 on domestic routes beginning towards the end of this year.