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The Board of Directors of the Icelandair Group has decided to upgrade the fleet of Icelandair, to include two Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
The new aircraft will be used on the airline’s twice-daily London Heathrow – Reykjavik operation, which also provides a feeder service to Icelandair’s American and Canadian destinations.
Acquisition of the new aircraft will increase capacity on the Heathrow flights, which are currently operated by the airline’s Boeing 757-200’s and only 757-300. The company currently owns 22 of these aircraft, and leases two – though the leased aircraft will be replaced by the new 767-300s.
Bjorgolfur Johannsson, President and CEO of Icelandair Group: “Operating one type of aircraft has been very economical for Icelandair but when the route network and the fleet reaches a certain size it becomes more feasible to have a broader range of aircraft in the fleet.”
Larger aircraft are more feasible due to high load factors on routes such as Heathrow – Reykjavik, and limited landing spots in certain airports. The increase of the fleet in the last few years has made it more economical to have more than one size of aircraft in the fleet. It has not been decided whether the new aircraft will be purchased or leased.
Icelandair’s London Heathrow operations will soon move to the new Terminal 2 on 25th March and the Gatwick-Reykjavik service is also due to increase to a daily frequency in 2016.
"We foresee further growth opportunities in the coming years with these changes to the fleet policy for passenger aircraft. The Boeing 767 aircraft can service markets that the current fleet cannot, which will enable us to go into new markets and connect them to the current route network,” Johannsson added.
The Icelandair group has also announced plans to replace Air Iceland’s Fokker 50 fleet with newer Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft.