Keflavík Airport was very crowded this morning because all the planes were landing at once. This is because the planes were banned from flying from 2:00 until 7:00 this morning on account of a labour dispute.
RÚV reports that 12 planes touched down in the span of half an hour. The airport was still very busy at 22:00, with about 14 planes landing in a short period of time.
The first plane to take off was at 7:08 this morning to Alicante. It is very likely that there will be a lot of delays today due to this happening.
This traffic snarl was set off because the air traffic controller who was supposed to work was sick and, coincidentally, so was their replacement. Other controllers could not fill in due to an overtime ban put in place by the air traffic controller’s union.
This marks the third time these bans have caused disturbances in international flights. Unfortunately, there is no solution in sight.
“The air traffic controllers’ demands for higher wages are far beyond other collective agreements,” states Þorsteinn Víglundsson, CEO of Business Iceland (SA) in a statement.
Sigurjón Jónasson, chairman of the Icelandic air traffic controllers’ union, says the requirements are not excessive, and that he wants to sit down with SA to negotiate and solve this matter.