Boeing 737 MAX return to service | Icelandair
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Boeing 737 MAX return to service

The Boeing 737 MAX has been certified as safe to fly. Here you can find more information about the recertification process and preparation for the aircraft returning to our fleet.

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 have now 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 is certification from the major authorities, including:

Boeing improvements for recertification

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

Boeing carried out more than 1350 test fights and, in addition, all MAX pilots and aircraft mechanics have had (or will undergo) 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, on 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).

Our next steps

Now that the aircraft has been certified, preparations for its return to service are underway. The following steps are taken before the MAX rejoin the Icelandair fleet.


  • Our MAX aircraft have been in storage in Spain in more favorable climate conditions. They return to Keflavík for extensive maintenance checks carried out by our highly skilled mechanics.
  • Our aircraft mechanics make 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 undergo extensive training.
  • During training, pilots gain enhanced understanding of the 737 flight control system, including MCAS and related software changes.


  • All aircraft systems are tested. 
  • Each aircraft takes several test flights without passengers. 

Clarity and flexibility

We are confident in the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX but understand if our passengers need more flexibility.

The detailed certification process has solved the software issue. Icelandair is following every directive to make the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft ready for flight, and our experienced pilots will be trained 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.

We understand our customers who choose to fly on another type of aircraft for the time being. Flexible policies are therefore temporarily available for all flights on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. 

This means that if you have booked directly with Icelandair, and your flight is on the Boeing 737 MAX, you are able to change your booking for free (restricted to travel date and route). You are also able to cancel your booking and receive a travel credit voucher.

Frequently asked questions