Icelandair is the main airline of Iceland, headquartered at Reykjavík Airport in Reykjavík. It is part of the Icelandair Group and, during the summer of 2015, operated scheduled services to 39 cities in 16 countries on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean out of its hub at Keflavík International Airport. The geographical position of Iceland allows one-stop transatlantic flights, which are one pillar of the airline's business strategy, along with traffic to and from the country.
Since the 1960s, Icelandair has offered passengers travelling on transatlantic flights between the North America and Europe a unique opportunity to stopover in Iceland for up to seven days, at no additional cost. In order to raise awareness about their stopover offer, the company launched a new social media initiative in 2014, with the hashtag #MyStopover.
On February 13, 2013 Icelandair Group announced that the company had finalized an order with Boeing for sixteen new Boeing 737 MAX planes. Purchase rights for eight additional 737s had also been signed. The value for all sixteen aircraft was USD 1.6 billion at Boeing list prices, but actual purchase price was confidential. The planes will be delivered in 2018-2021. In a press release from Icelandair Group Björgólfur Jóhannsson, president and CEO of the company enthused: "We are pleased to announce that we have finalized agreements on firm orders for 737 MAX. This will further strengthen our business and increase our flexibility and capability for growth. The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in the first half of 2018 and the aircraft will be operated alongside with the Company’s current fleet of Boeing 757s."
The order is for nine 737 MAX 8 airplanes for 153 passengers and seven 737 MAX 9 aircraft which hold 172 passengers. In comparison, Icelandair Group’s current Boeing 757-200 aircraft hold 183 passengers. Boeing 737 MAX is a new, improved and longer version of the present Boeing 737s. Fuel savings compared to Icelandair's present fleet of Boeing 757s are thought to be more than 20% per seat.
The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner that was designed and built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the manufacturer's largest single-aisle passenger aircraft and was produced from 1981 to 2004. The twinjet has a two-crew member glass cockpit, turbofan engines, a conventional tail and, for reduced aerodynamic drag, a supercritical wing design. Intended to replace the smaller three-engine 727 on short and medium routes, the 757 can carry 200 to 295 passengers for a maximum of 3,150 to 4,100 nautical miles (5,830 to 7,590 km), depending on variant. The 757 was designed concurrently with a wide-body twinjet, the 767, and owing to shared features pilots can obtain a common type rating that allows them to operate both aircraft.
The 757 was produced in two fuselage lengths. The original 757-200 entered service in 1983; the 757-200PF, a package freighter (PF) variant, and the 757-200M, a passenger-freighter combi model, debuted in the late 1980s. The stretched 757-300, the longest narrow-body twinjet ever produced, began service in 1999. Passenger 757-200s have been modified to special freighter (SF) specification for cargo use, while military derivatives include the C-32 transport, VIP carriers, and other multi-purpose aircraft. Private and government operators have also customized the 757 for research and transport roles. All 757s are powered by Rolls-Royce RB211 or Pratt & Whitney PW2000 series turbofans.