From Iceland — Latest Icelandic Airline Takes To The Sky Among Labour Dispute

Latest Icelandic Airline Takes To The Sky Among Labour Dispute

Published June 24, 2021

Erik Pomrenke
Photo by
Play Air/Facebook

The newest Icelandic airline, PLAY, is officially in the air. Departing Keflavík Airport at 11:00 AM, the destination of the maiden voyage is Stanstead Airport, on the outskirts of London.

CEO Birgir Jónsson expressed his satisfaction with the successful flight, stating that it was a big day after two years of preparation. Calling it a great day for Icelandic tourism, he said that there were hopes that both the Icelandic economy and the tourism industry would feel the presence of PLAY in the market.

For some, however, the maiden voyage of PLAY is no cause for celebration, as the company has been in disputes with the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ), the organization which collectively represents Iceland’s labour unions.

According to Frettablaðið, the critique centers around the rise of “yellow unions” in Iceland, unions in which the employer exercises excessive control of the bargaining process, resulting in less bargaining power and lower wages for workers.

PLAY, it might be noted, is the successor to the now-defunct WOW air. After its 2019 bankruptcy and subsequent reorganization into the likewise defunct WAB air, PLAY is the latest Icelandic budget airline, its board largely consisting of former WOW air board members.

A public stock offering accompanied the takeoff, beginning at 10:00 AM. PLAY aims to take in some 4.3 billion ISK in new capital, with CEO Birgir Jónsson expressing optimism that 3.1 billion ISK could be raised this year.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!