Icelandair to decide between Boeing 797 and Airbus A321XLR for replacement of its Boeing 757s

Reykjavik - Icelandair plans to continue to operate its Boeing 757s in the upcoming years as well, but a successor must be considered according to airline CEO Bogi Nils Bogasson who spoke to Dutch aviation magazine

With a fleet of 27 Boeing 757s (25, 757-200 and two Boeing 757-300), the Icelandic carrier is by far the biggest operator of the twin-engine widebody in Europe.

Although the fuel consumption of the Boeing 757 is a little higher than the Boeing 737 MAX, its operating cost is lower compared to Boeing's single-aisle jet of the newer generation, says Bogason, who has been the CEO of the Icelandair since December 2018.

Icelandair is currently using its Boeing 757s on routes to Europe and North America from Keflavik. The two Boeing 757-200 were already converted to the freighter and fly in the fleet of Icelandair Cargo. Two more Boeing 757-200 of the airline are leased to Cabo Verde Airlines.

Bogason says a decision should be made at the end of this year about the possible replacement. The CEO expects the Boeing 757 to remain in service until 2025. The oldest Boeing 757 in the fleet dates back to 1990.

As a possible successor, Bogason mentions the Boeing 797 and the Airbus A321LR (Long Range) or A321XLR (Extra Long Range). "We are talking with both manufacturers," Bogason said. Boeing will decide next year whether to launch or not its NMA (New Midsize Aircraft) program, dubbed Boeing 797. Airbus already launched the A321LR and started recording orders for its upcoming extra-long-range A321neo.

In addition to the Boeing 757, Icelandair also flies the Boeing 767-300ER and the new Boeing 737 MAX. However, the six 737 MAX jets of the airline are currently grounded due to worldwide flight ban to the aircraft followed by the crash of an Ethiopian MAX 8.