In the light of recent news from Boeing on the ongoing process in cooperation with international aviation authorities of returning the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft safely back to service, Icelandair does not expect the MAX in operation within its route network during the high season of next summer. This will have a minimal impact on Icelandair’s flight schedule 2020 as it was set up with the aim to minimize the impact of a possible further delay in the lifting of the MAX suspension. In addition, the Company has already entered into leasing agreements regarding three Boeing 737-800 aircraft and a decision has been made to keep more Boeing 757 aircraft in operation in 2020 than originally planned.
The financial impact of this further suspension will be considerably less this year than in 2019. In addition to the above-mentioned mitigating measures the current leasing agreements were made further in advance than in the year 2019 and are therefore on better terms. The additional aircraft will also be operated with Icelandair crews instead of external crews last year that were leased with a short notice. The Company has therefore been able to organise its operations in 2020 with this possible scenario in mind.
In 2020, Icelandair‘s emphasis will continue to be on the tourism market to Iceland and the Company expects to transport at least as many passengers to Iceland this year as in 2019.
As previously reported, Icelandair Group has reached two interim agreements with Boeing regarding compensation for the Company’s financial loss resulting from the MAX suspension. Continued discussions with Boeing regarding further compensation are ongoing.