Icelandair Boeing 757 Involved In India Tail Strike On Around The World Itinerary

The National Geographic Icelandair Boeing 757 suffered an incident that took it ou

Icelandair Boeing 757 Involved In India Tail Strike On Around The World Itinerary


  • An Icelandair Boeing 757 on a special world tour had to cut its journey short after suffering a tail strike during landing in India.
  • Icelandair replaced the damaged aircraft with a Boeing 767.
  • The Boeing 757 has a history of being operated by different airlines before being repainted in the National Geographic livery and used for the exclusive tours.

An Icelandair Boeing 757, painted in a special National Geographic livery, and while operating a special flight around the world, has had its journey cut short after the aircraft suffered a tail strike in India.

Icelandair Boeing 757 tail strike at VNS

The Icelandair Boeing 757-200, registered as TF-LLL, was landing at Varanasi International Airport (VNS), India, on its journey from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), Nepal. As the aircraft was landing at the Indian airport, the 757 suffered a tail strike, which has taken it out of action since the incident happened on November 10, 2023, according to The Aviation Herald.

In order to continue the ‘Around the World’ journey, Icelandair sent a Boeing 767-300ER, registered as TF-ISW. The aircraft arrived at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) on November 11, with the aircraft continuing to fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), Tanzania, Porto Francisco de Sa Carneiro Airport (OPO), Portugal, Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK), Morocco, and finally, Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), the United States (US), where the journey initially started. The Boeing 767-300ER returned to Iceland on November 19, a day after it had landed at IAD.

Read more: Icelandair's Incredible Boeing 757 Private Jet World Tour

Before stopping for longer than it was scheduled to at VNS, the National Geographic-liveried Boeing 757 began the ‘Around the World’ trip at IAD on October 27 before flying to Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM), Peru. From there, it continued to Pisco Airport (PIO), Peru, before returning to LIM and continuing to Mataveri International Airport (IPC), Chile, Apia Faleolo International Airport (APW), Samoa, Cairns Airport (CNS), Australia, Siem Reap Angkor International Airport (SAI), Cambodia, KTM, and VNS, where its flying program stopped. However, Flightradar24 data showed that it had already struggled to land at KTM, with the aircraft circling just south of the airport for over an hour before it finally touched down at the Nepalese capital.

Special National Geographic jet

The Icelandair Boeing 757-200 has had a colorful history, according to ch-aviation data. After Boeing initially delivered the aircraft to Spain-based Iberia in 2000, Turkey-based AtlasGlobal (then known as Atlasjet) took over the single-aisle jet in 2005, operating it until 2012. Then, Icelandair operated the 757 for the first time, registered as TF-IST until 2013, when Titan Airways briefly had the jet as G-POWJ until 2014. Then, the French all-business class operator La Compagnie jetted across the Atlantic with it until Cabo Verde Airlines had the 757 between December 2019 and December 2020. Finally, in May 2021, Icelandair once again took delivery of the aircraft. According to, the aircraft was repainted in the National Geographic colors in September 2022.

Icelandair National Geographic Boeing 757-200 rendering
Photo: National Geographic

However, the airline does not list the 757-200, registered as TF-LLL, on its website. Meanwhile, National Geographic described the ‘Around the World’ tour as a 24-day itinerary that is operated by a Boeing 757, with the interior “customized to accommodate 75 guests, as well as trip experts and staff, in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating.” National Geographic plans six journeys in 2024 and three in 2025, with prices starting at $99,995.

Read more: Icelandair Looks To Replace Boeing 757s In Second Half Of Decade

Sources: The Aviation Herald, Flightradar24, ch-aviation,