A planned strike of stewards and stewardesses at Icelandair could do significant damage to the line-up planned for Iceland Airwaves.
RÚV reports that the strike is scheduled for October 10. This could prove a major blow to the music festival. Airwaves director Grímur Atlason says that about 70% of the bands booked are scheduled to arrive in Iceland by way of Icelandair.
By the same token, many of Airwaves’ attendees also plan to arrive by Icelandair. “It goes without saying that there would then be no festival,” Grímur says, adding that such a massive and sudden cancellation could damage the reputation of the festival itself.
“It is not possible to be able to deal with a volcano that is going off or not, while people in the tourist industry are always going on strike,” he said, explaining that the tourist industry is the one business sector in Iceland on the upswing. “In many ways, it’s a form of violence, in the breadth of the effects [the strikes] have.”
Icelandair is currently in negotiations with its stewards and stewardesses to try and reach an agreement that could prevent a strike from happening.
Mechanics for Icelandair went on strike last summer, as well as in the previous spring. Last summer’s strike saw numerous flights cancelled, with tourists stranded, hotel bookings cancelled, tourist revenue lost, and many Icelanders unable to return home.