Icelandair Selects P&W GTF Engines for A321neo Aircraft

Render of an Icelandair A321neoXLR aircraft in flight.
Image Credit: Airbus

Pratt & Whitney, operating under RTX (NYSE: RTX), has announced that Icelandair has opted for GTF engines to power up to 35 new Airbus A320neo family aircraft.

This deal encompasses a mix of leased and purchased A321XLR and A321LR aircraft, marking Icelandair’s debut as a GTF customer.

Alongside the engine selection, Icelandair has also committed to an EngineWise® agreement. This will ensure comprehensive long-term maintenance and support for its GTF engines.


Icelandair is a carrier with a rich history dating back to 1937. It now boasts a route network centered around Iceland’s strategic location between North America and Europe.

Over the decades, the airline has continuously evolved its fleet, initially operating Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines in the 1940s.

The airline later transitioned to turbojet and turbofan-powered aircraft, including the Boeing 727 and Douglas DC-8, followed by the 767-300ER.

Presently, Icelandair operates DHC Dash 8 aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100 and PW150 engines.

Render of an Icelandair A321neoXLR aircraft in flight.
Image Credit: Airbus

Selection of GTF Engines

The decision to opt for GTF engines reflects Icelandair’s strategic vision to enhance the efficiency and range of its fleet.

With a focus on maximizing fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, Icelandair anticipates substantial improvements. It expects up to 30% better efficiency per seat compared to the 757s they are replacing.

This move aligns with the airline’s dual objectives of bolstering its business operations while championing environmental sustainability.

The selection of GTF engines marks a renewal of the longstanding relationship between the pair. Icelandair and Pratt & Whitney now have a connection spanning over 80 years.

An Icelandair Airbus A321XLR in flight
Photo Credit: Icelandair.
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Rick Deurloo, President of Commercial Engines at Pratt & Whitney, emphasized the suitability of GTF-powered aircraft for Icelandair’s present long-haul operations, saying:

“These engines and aircraft are well-suited to serve Icelandair’s growing transatlantic network, while delivering industry-leading fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions.”

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

The adoption of GTF engines heralds a significant milestone in Icelandair’s sustainability journey. By reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions, these engines play a pivotal role in aligning the airline’s operations with global environmental objectives.

Furthermore, the collaboration between Icelandair and Pratt & Whitney underscores a shared commitment to sustainable aviation solutions.

“With these GTF engines, we will maximize the range and efficiency of our new Airbus aircraft,” said Bogi Nils Bogason, president and CEO, Icelandair.

“Furthermore, the GTF engines will help us reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 30% per seat, compared to the 757s they will replace, which will support business and environmental objectives at the same time.”

“We expect our passengers to experience the initial A321LRs starting in 2025, and the first A321XLR beginning in 2029.”


Looking ahead, Icelandair anticipates tangible benefits from the integration of GTF-powered A321XLR and A321LR aircraft into its fleet.

By the time its Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft are retired, Icelandair will operate a mixed narrowbody fleet of Airbus A321LR/XLR as well as Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

With the initial A321LRs expected to commence operations in 2025 and the first A321XLR slated for 2029, Icelandair is poised for enhanced operational efficiency and expanded capabilities in serving its transatlantic routes.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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