Icelandair has become Airbus’ newest customer with an order for 13 A321XLR aircraft.
Icelandair, the main Icelandic airline based in Keflavík, also confirmed on July 6, 2023, that the carrier plans to lease four A321LRs.
Icelandair signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for the 13 A321XLR aircraft in April 2023.
While Icelandair will continue being an all-Boeing operator until 2025, with the planned arrival of the first A321LR the carrier will become a mixed-fleet operator.
The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2029 but the carrier plans to have four Airbus aircraft in operation before summer of 2025 and has now secured the lease of the new A321LR aircraft with its long-term partner SMBC Aviation Capital.
“We are very pleased to announce that we have now finalized the purchase agreement with Airbus. The efficient A321XLR aircraft will further strengthen our business model, increase our flexibility and provide opportunities for future growth, as well as further support our sustainability efforts,” said Bogi Nils Bogason, Icelandair’s CEO.
According to Airbus the A321XLR is the “next evolutionary step from the A320neo which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines”.
The A321XLR will travel up to 4,700nm (15% more range than the A321LR) and will offer seats in all classes with the same high comfort as on a long-haul wide-body, with the low costs of a single-aisle aircraft.
“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Icelandair for placing their trust and confidence in Airbus. It fills us with immense pride to welcome Icelandair as a new Airbus customer. By harnessing the exceptional performance of the A321XLR, your airline is forging a path of sustainable growth with remarkable efficiency and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus CCO and head of Airbus International.
According to ch-aviation.com data, it currently has 46 aircraft in its fleet, including 16 Boeing 737 MAX, 16 757-200, two 757-300, and three 767-300ER aircraft. In terms of freighters, the Icelandic airline operates a pair of 757-200Fs, including one converted freighter, as well as two converted 767-300Fs.