Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 August 2020

Icelandair lays off all of its flight attendants and will instead have pilots do the job

It comes after negotiations between the airline and a cabin crew union broke down

Icelandair has laid off its cabin crew and wil instead have pilots do the job. Icelandair
Icelandair has laid off its cabin crew and wil instead have pilots do the job. Icelandair

Icelandair is laying off all of its flight attendants and will instead have pilots oversee onboard safety.

The news, announced on Friday, brings an end to a labour dispute between the airline and the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association union that began in June over contracts during the coronavirus outbreak.

Last month, the airline and the union both signed five-year agreement which the airline said increased “productivity and flexibility” for cabin crew, however, last week, members of the union voted against the proposal by a majority of 73:27.

As a result, Icelandair says negotiations have now broken down.

“It has now become evident that a mutually agreed conclusion will not be reached,” the airline said in a statement. “Icelandair will permanently terminate the employment of its current cabin crew members and permanently discontinue the employment relationship between the parties."

The airline said it planned to have its pilots temporarily assume the role of flight attendants overseeing the safety of those onboard, starting from Monday, July 20.

“Services will continue to be at a minimum, as it has since the impact of Covid-19 started,” the statement added.

Icelandair is now said to be in talks with cabin crew who lost their jobs when Wow Air collapsed in 2018.

Guolaug Liney Johannsdottir, chairman of the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association, said: “Icelandair's position and attitude in the matter is a disgrace and I have faith that the public does not take such contempt for employees silently.”

Updated: July 18, 2020 06:44 PM

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