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Air Iceland Adds the Q400 to Its Fleet
Air Iceland has joined Icelandair Group’s fleet renewal process. Air Iceland has started the renewal with an order for three Bombardier Q400s. The Q400s are expected to replace the carriers current Fokker F50s that have been part of the airline since the early 2000s. The airline has already had a few Bombardier aircraft in the fleet since they integrated two DHC-8-200s into the fleet in 2012, replacing two Fokker 50s that few between Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands.
As the Icelandic economy recovers from the recession of 2011, Air Iceland has seen an increase in flights both domestically and internationally to neighboring islands. Air Iceland is the only main carrier that serves Iceland domestically and operates with seven aircraft on seven routes. The carrier also operates routes to five destinations in Greenland and Thóshavn in the Faroe Islands. Air Iceland’s flights to Greenland are utilized with trip packages for vacationers to see other islands when they fly to Iceland. Air Iceland faces competition on these routes, from Air Greenland on the route to Greenland and from Atlantic Airways on the route to the Faroe Islands. Air Iceland is based at Reykjavik Airport and also has a small focus city in Akureyri.
The Bombardier Q400s ordered are used aircraft that will be due in August and will start service in December 2015. Air Iceland has been contemplating using either the Q400s or ATR72 as a replacement for the Dutch F50s. However, since the carrier already has DHC-8-200s, the fleet similarity makes flying the Q400s better. The F50s currently used will be faded out of service as the Q400s are brought into service.
Icelandair is also in the process of also expanding their fleet. The carrier recently ordered two Boeing 767-300s and as well as 16 Boeing 737MAXs. The airline is currently operating all Boeing 757s, which are currently receiving Row 44 wifi and is expected to be finished in autumn. Icelandair is the all international carrier of the Icelandair Group, flying from their hub in Kelfavik to 15 destinations in North America and 25 destinations in Europe. The Boeing 767s will replace older Boeing 757s while the Boeing 737MAXs are arriving to help expand the carrier’s route map. No plans have been announced about replacing the aging Boeing 757s in the current fleet.
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