Icelandair has today committed to purchase 12 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
The order will be firmed up soon, but at list prices is worth $1.2 billion, and will see the purchase of 737 MAX 8 and 9 variants.
Currently Icelandair utilises a fleet of 23 Boeing 757 aircraft on its routes from Reykjavik to destinations in Europe and North America.
“Over the past decades, Icelandair has successfully utilized its all-Boeing 757 fleet to establish its Reykjavik-based hub as an important gateway between Europe and North America,” said Todd Nelp, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The introduction of the 737 MAX to Icelandair’s operation will complement its existing 757 fleet and ensure the carrier’s continued expansion across both continents, offering significant fuel saving with unrivaled passenger comfort.”
Keflavik is the main international gateway airport to Iceland. It is the base of Icelandair.
Other carriers you’ll see here include:
Iceland Express (Hello)
The airport covers a vast area, being a former US air base. It has two runways, and a number of smaller remote aprons and hangars where the military operations used to happen. These are still sometimes used by biz jet and troop flights, and other operations.
The airport has one passenger terminal, with a long pier extending into the apron. Before going into the building, at departures level you can see the apron at either side of the entrances and get an overview of most aircraft parked there.
Once through security, you will have free reign of the pier, and can log most aircraft easily. You can see across to the runways from the end of the pier. The cargo apron is also visible alongside.
Traffic can be a little slow. You’ll find that the Icelandair flights all come in together 2 or 3 times a day, connecting European and North American flights together.
To see aircraft on remote aprons, a car is recommended due to the large area. You may also be able to get some landing shots at the end of the runway in use.
On honeymoon in Iceland recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Reykjavik’s downtown airport, which is used extensively for domestic flights, biz jets, deliveries and fuel stops, flying schools, and Coast Guard flights.
The airport is quite small and compact, with small runways. It is literally over the road from the city centre. When a plane lands or departs, the rest of the town generally knows about it!
I had been expecting it to be a little busier, but nevertheless I still got a good mix of t
ypes, with biz from across Europe and North America. I saw the whole fleet of Flugfelag Islands (Air Iceland) over two days. I also saw the preserved DC-3 TF-NPK in Icelandair colours.
To make sure you cover everything possible, take a walk around the perimeter on the eastern side, towards the beach. This will uncover a few hidden ramps of light aircraft. Also take a walk north of the passenger terminal to see what’s parked outside the other light aircraft hangars. Walking around will also ensure you can see everything parked on the passenger ramp, and the eastern ramp where biz and other aircraft park.
I was fortunate enough to stay in the Icelandair Loftleidir Hotel which is next to the control tower on the eastern perimeter. I had a room which overlooks both main ramps, and all of the runways. I didn’t miss any movements, even at night. Photographs are also possible from your room.