Icelandair Fires Flight Attendants – Pilots Will Take Over Those Duties

Off-duty pilots will find themselves stepping into new roles on Monday, July 20, for Icelandair – temporary flight attendants.

That was the shocking conclusion to a month-long labor dispute with the union representing flight attendants when the airline announced Friday it was terminating cabin crew members.

“Icelandair will permanently terminate the employment of its current cabin crew members and permanently discontinue the employment relationship between the parties,” Icelandair said in a statement.

The carrier did not say how long that pilots would be taking over as flight attendants, only that a previous reduction in service due to the coronavirus pandemic would keep their duties fairly limited. They will still be assigned “responsibility for safety onboard.”

Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (Flugfreyjufelag Islands/FFI) had been negotiating with the airline for months over a new contract but the latest proposal from Icelandair was defeated by the union with a 73 percent majority.

FFI union head Guolaug Liney Johannsdottir told The Independent newspaper: “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. Icelandair’s position puts FFI in the precarious position of having to start preparations for immediate and extensive strike action.”

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