Icelandair is wet-leasing Boeing 767s and acquiring a Boeing 757 on a temporary basis to compensate for its 737 MAX 8s affected by the global grounding.

The Icelandic carrier has four MAX 8s in its fleet, three more on order and orders for six MAX 9s, according to Aviation Week Fleet Discovery Network.

Icelandair said it was bringing in the 767s and 757s on the assumption that the MAX will be grounded until June 16.

The airline is wet-leasing two 767s in two-class, 262-seat configuration. One will arrive imminently and the second at the start of May. Both will be in service until the end of September.

The airline is also temporarily acquiring a 757-200 with 184 seats, from May 15 until end September. The carrier is a major operator of the 757, with around 25 in service.

Icelandair did not respond to an ATW request for information on the sources of the aircraft.

In a statement regarding the effect of the suspension of MAX services, the airline said that it intended to reduce its schedule by around 100 flights during the period April 1 to June 15.

“In most cases, these are flights to destinations where more than one flight is available on the same day. Despite these changes, the total seat capacity during the period will essentially remain the same since the company will use Boeing 767 aircraft that are larger than the Boeing 737 MAX. Therefore, these changes will not have significant effects on the total number of passengers during the period.

“The financial impact of the suspension of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is uncertain at this time as the amount of compensation from the aircraft producer is still under review,” Icelandair said.

FAA has indicated that it expects to be able to issue an airworthiness directive in late May or June that would permit the MAX to return to operations, but it is not known how long it will take for other regulatory authorities around the world to follow suit. Several airlines, including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have made scheduling adjustments that will extend their MAX fleet freeze until mid-August.

Separately, Icelandair said that it was cancelling its planned services from Iceland to Cleveland in the US and Halifax in Canada this year.

It said that this was partly because of the MAX grounding, but also part of a decision to focus on meeting increased demand for flights to and from Iceland rather than as a transit hub between Europe and North America.

Because of changes in the competitive environment, Icelandair has decided to add flights to southern Europe. Icelandair will offer three flights a week to Alicante in cooperation with Icelandair Group’s subsidiary, VITA, a travel agency that organizes trips from Iceland.”

Alan Dron