From Iceland — Air Traffic Controllers To Strike Next Week

Air Traffic Controllers To Strike Next Week

Published August 24, 2021

Desirai Thompson

The potential of a strike by air traffic controllers will become a reality on August 31st. RÚV reports.

Negotiations between the Icelandic Air Traffic Controllers Association (FÍF) and management at Ísavia, the operators of Keflavík Airport have been ongoing. The crux of the labour talks concern working hours, among other grievances.

After a meeting yesterday that spanned from 13:00 until 00:00 gave no resolution, it was decided to implement a strike next Tuesday, August 31st from 5:00 to 10:00. While it was possible that the strike could’ve began yesterday, it was postponed due to marginal advances in reaching an agreement.

The strike is coming at a critical time for tourism in Iceland. The travel sector continues to be strongly effected by COVID-19 travel restrictions and is only recently beginning to see visitor rates surging again. In 2018 Iceland welcomed over 2.3 million travellers. This year, the number of visitors is expected to reach 700,000 individuals, an upturn from 486,000 last year.

This sentiment was shared by Birgis Jónsson, CEO of PLAY airline, who told Vísir yesterday that “a strike is the last thing the tourism industry needs right now.”

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