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Image: Icelandair

Icelandair forced into more schedule changes

Due to the ongoing suspension of the Boeing 737 MAX, the Icelandic flag carrier has had to make more timetable tweaks.

Icelandair says it has made changes to its flight schedules up to September 15, as the suspension of the controversial Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is expected to take longer than anticipated.

In an effort to minimise the impact on its passengers, it has added three leased aircraft to its fleet for the duration of the summer season – and is now working on the lease of an additional Boeing 767-300.

The carrier says it will start implementing these changes in the next few days and Icelandair service representatives will be contacting the passengers affected.

Total seat capacity from July 15 to September 15 will decrease by 5% from what the company had previously estimated.

“However,” the airline qualifies referring to its new leases, “following these changes the number of available seats during the period will still increase by 10% year-on-year.”

Icelandair says its emphasis will continue to be increasing the number of passengers to and from Iceland. As of today, it adds, the number of bookings by passengers travelling to Iceland during the period June-August has increased by over 30% compared to the same period last year.

Rounds of changes
Nevertheless, the financial impact of the suspension of the B737 MAX aircraft is uncertain as the amount of compensation from the aircraft manufacturer is still under review.

The airline has already made several rounds of changes to its schedules. Initially, after the grounding in March in the wake of two aircraft crashes, it first thought it would have to do without the MAX until June. Then they pushed that time back to July.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that the MAX could be allowed to fly again in late June, citing sources close to the US government working on the case.

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