Icelandic national flag carrier Icelandair is preparing to welcome three brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the space of a week. In a post on its Linkedin page, the Keflavík International Airport (KEF)-based airline said that it has already taken delivery of two aircraft in Seattle and will pick up a third this week.
The addition of the three single-aisle airliners means that Icelandair will now have nine Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet of 38 aircraft. The Nordic carrier has six Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft that can seat 160 passengers and three Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes capable of accomodating 178 passengers.
The MAX will play a big role for Icelandair
In the Linkedin post, Icelandair says that the addition of the new aircraft will create new opportunities and lists the 737 MAX as having the following attributes:
- More efficient than other aircraft
- It burns much less fuel
- Have a range that is greater than was first expected
Following the Icelandair tradition of naming aircraft after Icelandic natural wonders, the three new planes will be called Landmannalaugar, Kirkjufell, and Langjökull.
- TF-ICP (737 MAX 8) is named Landmannalaugar, located in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the Highlands of Iceland. Landmannalaugar sits on the edge of the Laugahraun lava field created following a volcanic eruption in 1477. The area is popular with visitors and is famous for its geothermal hot springs and natural surroundings.
- TF-ICC (737 MAX 9) is named Kirkjufell (church mountain) after the most photographed mountain in Iceland. Located in the north of the island on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, near the town of Grundarfjörður, the mountain is featured in HBO’s popular Game of Thrones. Unlike many other mountains in Iceland, Kirkjufell is not a volcano and was created during the Ice Age.
- TF-ICB (737 MAX 9) is named Langjökull after Iceland’s second-largest glacier. Meaning long ice in the Icelandic language, Langjökull is located in the west of the highlands and can be clearly seen from Haukadalur. In size, the glacier takes up 75.28 square miles (195 km2) and is around 4,760 feet (1,450 meters) above sea level.
About the Boeing 737 MAX
Based on its best-selling Boeing 737 NG, the Boeing 737 MAX takes the concept a step further with an impressive performance and a comfortable flying experience. The twin-engine jet is capable of transatlantic travel and has a maximum cruising speed of 521 mph (839 km/h) and a range of up to 4,045 miles (6,510 kilometers).
Aviation authorities around the world grounded the Boeing 737 MAX in March 2019 following two fatal crashes. Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019. Following a lengthy investigation into the crashes, it was determined that they were caused by the aircraft’s new automated flight control, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
Software fixes were made, and further pilot training was given, allowing the MAX to reenter service in the US in November 2020. Transport Canada and EASA followed the FAA’s lead, and both cleared the MAX to return to service in late January 2021.
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Over the years, Icelandair has taken advantage of the island’s unique location located midway in the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America. Icelandair promotes a free one to seven-day stopover in Iceland for people flying between Europe and North America using the Icelandic capital Reykjavik as a hub.
Thanks to a successful COVID-19 vaccination program Iceland is now open to fully vaccinated travelers, including Americans, and does not require quarantine or self-isolation.
Before you book your flight, be sure you can show proof of having been fully vaccinated with either Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).
Before flying to Iceland, all visitors, including children, have to go to an Icelandic government website and fill out a health declaration and mobile phone verification form. A COVID-19 PCR test is not required for entry into Iceland, and the country is open for tourism.
Have you flown on one of Icelandair’s 737 MAX yet? If so, please tell us what you thought about the plane in the comments.