Icelandair Group has dismissed all flight attendants and will be placing the responsibility for its passengers and onboard safety with Icelandair pilots.
From today, every Icelandair crew member on each Icelandair flight will be a pilot.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline been negotiating with the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (Flugfreyjufelag Islands/FFI) over new contracts. In June, the two sides signed a five-year agreement that, according to Icelandair, involved “increasing productivity and flexibility”.
However, Icelandicair cabin crew voted against the proposals by a majority of 73:27, which earned a shocking response.
What’s going on?
The unexpected response to cabin crew voting against the proposals was to “permanently terminate the employment of its current cabin crew members and permanently discontinue the employment relationship between the parties”.
The airline has said that it has been exploring other options to ensure safety and service on board, and will turn to pilots who are currently on standby to take on cabin crew roles.
Pilots will “temporarily” pick up the tasks as of today. They will primarily occupy a safety role, as the on-board services will be minimal, as they are across the board, due to COVID-19.
But, could there be a deal in the pipeline?
According to the Iceland Monitor, Friday‘s decision to permanently fire all cabin crew has been withdrawn after an agreement was reached between Icelandair and the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (FFI) in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A statement from Icelandair says that the new agreement will allow the airline to better streamline its operations without cutting the pay of flight attendants.
Members of the FFI will now vote on the agreement and we should have an answer about the future of Icelandair’s flight attendants by 27th July.
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