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Icelandair sacks cabin crew and asks pilots to take on their roles

written by Sandy Milne | July 20, 2020

Furloughed Icelandair pilots will step into a new role later this month (Icelandair)

Iceland’s largest carrier has announced it will sack all its cabin crew – with pilots set to “temporarily” take over their roles from 20 July.

Icelandair said it would look to “permanently terminate” all of its cabin crew immediately, after collective bargaining with the country’s Cabin Crew Association (FFI) failed to reach an agreement.

The company has not detailed whether the pilots will receive any additional training to this end, or how long the arrangement is expected to last.

Crew members with the union rejected a tentative agreement on 8 July and Icelandair Group said subsequent talks have proved unsuccessful.

“Although the negotiations were continued after the results of the voting were announced, it has now become evident that a mutually agreed conclusion will not be reached,” said the company.

“… Icelandair has been exploring other options regarding safety and service onboard its aircraft. As a result, the company will instruct its pilots to assume responsibility for safety on board but services will continue to be at a minimum, as (they have been) since the impact of COVID-19 started.”

After nearly a month of talks between Icelandair and union representatives, members of the FFI convincingly rejected the tentative agreement, with nearly 73 per cent against and just 26 per cent in favour.


“That the new wage agreement has been rejected clearly shows the members consider the streamlining demands in the agreement have gone too far,” said the union following the ballot.


  • Peter Gardiner


    As a pilot I know nothing about what goes on behind the cockpit door, the idea that I could replace a trained cabin crewmember is a joke !!

  • Well Peter as the Pilot-in-Command you are entirely responsible for what “goes on behind the cockpit door”
    You likely don’t have the refined “customer service” ie negotiation skills of trained and experienced cabin crew, but the PiC is always responsible.
    The big concern here is that an employer is asking one portion of their workforce to displace another during an industrial dispute.

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