Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter
Alert: a new player has entered the game. At long last, Southwest Airlines is flying to Hawaii. It’s a major milestone for the airline, which has had its eyes on the Hawaii prize for a years. So when the first flight departed Oakland for Honolulu on March 17th, the airline threw a BIG party to celebrate.
There were hula dancers, live musicians, cakes, speeches, and (of course) TONS of Hawaiian shirts. Passengers on the flight — who mostly seemed to be Southwest employees and die-hard fans — got luggage tags and flower leis before taking to the skies. And we got to head out onto the airfield to see the flight off. Read on! We have so many photos, you’ll feel like you were there with us.
Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter
A huge crowd gathered to come see Icelandair’s newest addition to its fleet.
During a recent trip in April to Switzerland, I was able to make use of Icelandair’s Stopover option #MyStopover, and spent a weekend in Reykjavik to attend an employee-only plane warming party for the first Boeing 737 MAX 8 added to Icelandair’s fleet.
In February and March, Icelandair took delivery of their first three Boeing 737MAX 8 aircraft, TF-ICE, TF-ICY, and TF-ICU. The airline has 13 more MAX-series jets on order, with the next three scheduled for delivery in 2019, with the final delivery of this order slated for 2021.
The dark patches in the grey sky made for some nice contrast
The 737MAX features Icelandair’s updated livery, which has a simpler look. The blue is a lighter hue, the underbelly is grey, the words on the tail have been omitted so it only has the logo, and the yellow fuselage stripe has been removed. The aircraft were delivered without seats — they and the in-flight entertainment system were installed in Keflavik by Icelandair Technical Services.
There was a several-day delay, before the first scheduled revenue flight, but, very quietly on April 13, TF-ICE made its first revenue flight to New York (EWR) and back, just in time for the party.
On the morning of Saturday April 14, TF-ICE made a quick repositioning flight from Keflavik (KEF) to Reykjavik City Airport (BIRK), where Icelandair’s upper management, along with some lucky employees, invited guests, and members of the press were about to board this brand new Boeing 737MAX for a sightseeing flight over Iceland.
Boeing and Icelandair announced a commitment today for 12 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft. Currently, the airline only operates the Boeing 757, with a fleet of 23.
Boeing illustration showing what the Boeing 737 MAX will look like with Icelandair livery.
“This commitment is the result of our research into what aircraft manufacturers have on offer to help us strengthen and grow our fleet and our network towards the future,” said Bjorgolfur Johannsson, Icelandair Group president and CEO. “We have had a successful relationship with Boeing for decades and we are pleased to continue our cooperation for years to come.”
It appears that the airline will not be replacing their 757 fleet (although some of the older 757s will likely be rotated out of service) with the 737 MAX, but supplementing it.
Icelandair currently only operates the Boeing 757. Image by: Daniel Jones / djlpbb40.
“Over the past decades, Icelandair has successfully utilized its all-Boeing 757 fleet to establish its Reykjavik-based hub as an important gateway between Europe and North America,” said Todd Nelp, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The introduction of the 737 MAX to Icelandair’s operation will complement its existing 757 fleet and ensure the carrier’s continued expansion across both continents, offering significant fuel saving with unrivaled passenger comfort.”
The Icelandair livery has always looked quite impressive on the Boeing 757 and I feel almost equally so on the MAX. One has to love those yellow nacelles.
||This story written by…
David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder. David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.
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