Icelandair sacks all cabin crew – spare pilots to look after passengers

Icelandair ©AirTeamImages

After many months of negotiations with Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (Flugfreyjufelag Islands/FFI) and the signing of a five-year deal aimed at “increasing productivity and flexibility”, ten days ago, Icelandair cabin crew voted 73:27 to reject the proposals.

Iceland’s flag-carrying airline had successfully negotiated similar deals with the pilots’ and engineers’ unions. Because negotiations had broken down completely and there appeared to be no common ground upon which an agreement might be reached, Icelandair has opted to “permanently terminate the employment of its current cabin crew members and permanently discontinue the employment relationship between the parties”.

As of July 20, those pilots not rostered for flying duty will take on the “responsibility for safety on board.” The carrier has been offering a very basic service since the COVID-19 pandemic hit travel and will maintain that level for the near future. While cabin crew have now announced there will be a strike, Icelandair has indicated it is already in negotiations with cabin crew from the now defunct Icelandic carrier, Wow Air.

Icelandair is presently flying from its hub at Keflavik airport near Reykjavik to Amsterdam, Boston, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Hamburg, but not to the U.K.

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