Pingdom Check

Boeing 737 MAX return to service

Your safety is our priority

Icelandair always has the safety of passengers and employees at the forefront. 

After an extensive process with worldwide participation, the North American and European aviation authorities recertified the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. 

Taking 20 months, the recertification process involved expert engineers, scientists, researchers, mechanics and pilots from various countries worldwide, including independent representatives from NASA and the US Air Force.

After the completion of the most thorough inspection process in aviation history, the result was certification from the major authorities, including:

Boeing improvements for recertification

Various improvements to the flight control system were made during the recertification process.

Boeing carried out more than 1350 test fights and, in addition, all MAX pilots and aircraft mechanics had additional training.

The system now compares input from two angle-of-attack sensors as opposed to one; the aircraft only responds if data from both sensors agree and only activates once per event. Furthermore, pilots will always have the ability to override the aircraft’s input. 

You can read more about the specifications of the MAX, and other members of our fleet, in the Fleet section of our website.

Updates from Boeing

In this video from Boeing, you can learn more about the updates to the aircraft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

Steps to rejoin the fleet

Once the aircraft was recertified, we began preparations for its return to service. The following steps were taken before the MAX rejoined the Icelandair fleet in March 2021.


  • Our MAX aircraft were in storage in Spain in more favorable climate conditions. They returned to Keflavík for extensive maintenance checks carried out by our highly skilled mechanics.
  • Our aircraft mechanics made software updates to the flight control computer and display systems.

Pilot training

  • Icelandair is one of the few European airlines to own a Boeing 737 MAX Flight Simulator and our experienced pilots underwent extensive training.
  • During training, pilots gained enhanced understanding of the 737 flight control system, including MCAS and related software changes.


  • All aircraft systems were tested. 
  • Each aircraft completed several test flights without passengers. 

Clarity from Icelandair

We are confident in the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX.

The detailed certification process solved the software issue. Icelandair followed every directive to make the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft ready for flight, and our experienced pilots underwent training in our world-class training facilities.

We are fully transparent with our customers and specify the aircraft type during the booking process. For existing bookings, this information is available in My Journey.

Frequently asked questions