Airline Crisis Averted - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Airline Crisis Averted

Published July 20, 2011

With an overtime ban already in effect, pilots and Icelandair managed to reach a collective bargaining agreement last night.
As reported, pilots, Icelandair management and government officials have for a long time now been unable to reach a collective bargaining agreement. In fact, pilots have been working without a contract since January. The impasse reached a head when pilots threatened to refuse any overtime. At the time, the Icelandic Travel Industry Association said that they “cannot believe the pilots are serious” about this warning.
But the pilots did make good on the statement, which ended up delaying a flight to Seattle, and would have delayed many more. Fortunately, RÚV reports, an agreement between pilots and Icelandair was finally reached.
The agreement itself was the result of a lightning round of negotiations, starting at about 11:00 yesterday morning and not ending until 21:00 that night. With a deal reached, the overtime ban was called off. Hafsteinn Pálsson, the director of the Society of Icelandic Professional Pilots, told reporters that he did not want to comment on the contents of the agreement before he introduced it to his fellow pilots.
Regardless of the new deal’s terms, pilots now have a working contract, ending what has been months of uncertainty for them and the tourist industry.


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