Category Archives: Icelandair

Icelandair returns to MSP

From MSP:

Icelandair will resume service to Iceland from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on June 20, 2021 as international travel from the U.S. continues its recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Icelandair will begin operating four flights weekly on 160-seat Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 aircraft to Keflavik International Airport (KEF), which serves Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. The service will then expand to daily flights on July 16 on 216-seat Boeing 757 aircraft.

Icelandair reduces annual use of disposable plastic by 20 tons

Icelandair has made this announcement:

Icelandair Group’s corporate responsibility strategy puts great emphasis on reducing the airline’s environmental footprint. One of the projects Icelandair is working on now is to greatly reduce the use of Single use plastics onboard. A large step in that direction is the recent decision to minimize the use of bottled water. The airline estimates this change will reduce the use of plastic by up to 20 tons per year, compared to 2019.

Icelandair had planned to make this change in 2020, but it was delayed because of changes in onboard service related to COVID-19 safety measures. In 2019, Icelandair passengers used 1.6 million bottles of water. Icelandair is still committed to offering excellent service, and passengers will of course be offered water, free of charge.

This is one of many projects Icelandair is working on towards a greener and more sustainable future. Icelandair Group’s corporate responsibility strategy is based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The company has focus on four of the UN‘s Sustainable Development Goals; Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12), Climate Action (Goal 13), Gender Equality (Goal 5), and Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8).

Icelandair returns to Portland

Icelandair has made this announcement:

Icelandair has announced the long awaited return to Portland, Oregon with seasonal flights scheduled on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Portland International Airport starting on July 2, 2021. Nonstop service to Iceland will operate through October 31, 2021 with convenient connections to the hottest destinations in Europe. Flights and schedules are subject to COVID/border regulation and inflow development.

This news comes alongside the announcement that all passengers who can verify full vaccination against COVID-19 will be allowed to travel to Iceland without being subject to additional border measures, such as testing and quarantine. Icelandic customs authorities will accept vaccination certificates from Schengen countries or the World Health Organization’s “yellow card,” as well as, confirmation from travelers who can produce antibody tests showing prior infection.

This development makes Iceland one of the first European nations to open its borders beyond the Schengen area, which covers 26 countries, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Icelandair aircraft photo gallery:

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

Air Iceland Connect will be merged into Icelandair

Icelandair has made this announcement:

Starting on March 16, 2021 Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect, Icelandair Group’s domestic airline operations, will be integrated into one network with all sales and marketing efforts operating under the Icelandair brand.

The integration of Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect will strengthen and simplify the company’s operations while ensuring a sustainable future for domestic services as well as the West Nordic region.

One strong brand, a simplified booking process and unified distribution systems will allow Icelandair to offer a comprehensive range of products and services to all destinations – domestic and international – in one place, with one search, on one ticket.

Icelandair’s domestic destinations include Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Ísafjörður, and Vestmannaeyjar. Air Iceland Connect and Norlandair have collaborated on flights to several additional destinations in Iceland, such as Bíldudalur and Gjögur from Reykjavík airport, and Grímsey, Vopnafjörður and Þórshöfn from Akureyri airport.

Icelandair is not planning any changes at this time for passengers traveling from Reykjavik or Akureyri. However, new products and services are in development and will be introduced later this spring (2021).

Photos: Air Iceland Connect.

 Bogi Nils Bogason, CEO of Icelandair

“The integration of Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect is an important step that will create a stronger and more streamlined airline with more options and improved customer service. Domestic flights are crucial for Icelanders and with this step we can further strengthen our current network for all passengers with more accessibility and more competitive fares.

This is, however, a complex project with many integral details. That’s why we put great emphasis on clear communication with customers and open dialogue with key stakeholders about how we will ensure the development of domestic flights with the value and experience of our customers in mind.

As our domestic flights become more visible through Icelandair’s booking engines, we hope to open more of Iceland to the world with easy connections to our network in Europe and North America while increasing the number of tourist within our domestic operations.”

Icelandair returns its two Boeing 737 MAXs to service

Icelandair made this announcement:

Two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft return to service in Icelandair’s flight schedule in March 2021.

After an extensive process with worldwide participation, the North American and European aviation authorities have now recertified the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Taking 20 months, the recertification process involved expert engineers, scientists, researchers, mechanics and pilots from various countries worldwide, including independent representatives from NASA and the US Air Force.

After the completion of the most thorough inspection process in aviation history, the result is certification from the major authorities, including:

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the USA
  • Transport Canada (TC) in Canada
  • The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Europe, of which Iceland is a member

Icelandair aircraft photo gallery:

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

Icelandair Boeing 767-300 in action at the Troll Airfield in Antarctica

From Flugblogg: Icelandair Boeing 767-300 TF-ISN landing at the Troll Airfield in Antarctica in February 2021.

Video:

TF-ISN departing from Antarctica:

From Norwegian Polar Institute:

Icelandair lands in Antarctica

Icelandair made this announcement on social media:

We usually fly closer to home, near the Arctic Circle, but this flight was even cooler: Today, an Icelandair Boeing 767-300 landed at the Norwegian research station Troll in Antarctica. The charter flight is to pick up the research center’s scientists and fly them home to Norway.

The journey has involved a lot of planning due to the unique conditions (e.g. a landing strip on ice), and involves 6 pilots, 13 crew and 1 flight engineer. They’re all on their way back to the northern part of the globe, and we look forward to sharing more of their adventures in Antarctica with you next week – because snow, ice and wind are truly our elements.

Icelandair aircraft photo gallery:

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

Icelandair fires its flight attendants after negotiations fail, reverses course

 

Icelandair made this announcement:

As previously announced, Icelandair has been negotiating with the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (FFI) on a new long-term collective-bargaining agreement for the company’s cabin crew members. The objective has been to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the Company while safeguarding the  competitive compensation and working conditions of the Company’s cabin crew members.

Unfortunately, the negotiations with the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association have come to an end without a conclusion. On July 8, 2020, the members of the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association, rejected a new collective-bargaining agreement which had been agreed to and signed between the parties’ negotiation committees. Although the negotiations were continued after the results of the voting were announced, it has now become evident that a mutually agreed conclusion will not be reached.

Icelandair has been exploring other options regarding safety and service onboard its aircraft. As a result, the Company will instruct its pilots to assume responsibility for safety on board  but services will continue to be at a minimum, as it has since the impact of Covid-19 started. The Company expects to initiate discussions with a counter party within the Icelandic labor market on future terms for the Company’s cabin crew members.

Due to this unfortunate situation, Icelandair will permanently terminate the employment of its current cabin crew members and permanently discontinue the employment relationship between the parties. The Company’s pilots will temporarily take over responsibility for onboard safety on July 20.

Update: Icelandair later reversed course and issued this statement:

“Despite the failure of negotiations between Icelandair and the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (FFI), the parties managed to resume discussions and signed a new collective agreement which is valid until September 30, 2025”.

“The current agreement results in a further reduction in operating costs without adversely affecting the working conditions of cabin crew members,” the statement said. “As a result of these advancements, Icelandair pilots will not take responsibility for on-board safety and the most recent cabin crew layoffs will be withdrawn.”

Looking back:

On July 11, 2020 Icelandair celebrate 75 years since the first international passenger flight from Iceland, when a Catalina flugbátur (‘flightboat’, or seaplane) flew a six-hour flight from Reykjavík to Largs Bay, Scotland.

Icelandair aircraft photo gallery:

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

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airBaltic and Icelandair announce codeshare agreement

Icelandair and airBaltic have signed a codeshare agreement that opens new markets for the carriers by allowing them to sell and issue airline tickets jointly throughout their networks. airBaltic customers will benefit from convenient access to Iceland and North America. At the same time, Icelandair passengers can now purchase a ticket to a number of airBaltic destinations in the Baltics and beyond.

Currently airBaltic performs direct flights from Riga to various European business hubs and to such popular leisure destinations as Dubrovnik, Rijeka and Split in Croatia, Barcelona in Spain, Nice in France, Larnaca in Cyprus as well as Rome, Catania and Milan in Italy. In addition, during upcoming weeks airBaltic will launch direct flights from Riga to Billund (Denmark), Reykjavik (Iceland), Madrid (Spain), Zurich (Switzerland), Turku (Finland), Warsaw (Poland), Prague (Czech Republic), Stuttgart (Germany), Budapest (Hungary) and Liepaja (Latvia). By the end of August 2020, airBaltic plans to connect Baltics on 69 routes. airBaltic also offers various direct services from Tallinn and Vilnius.

Icelandair to cut 2,000 jobs

Icelandair Group has made this announcement:

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe impact on the aviation and travel industries with continued uncertainty for the unforeseeable future. To respond to the situation, Icelandair Group is taking extensive measures to get the Company through an extended period of minimum operations, including a considerable reduction in the number of employees and changes to its organizational structure. At the same time, necessary core operations are being secured to maintain the flexibility needed for a quick scale-up of the Company when markets begin to recover.

Over the course of the past weeks, Icelandair Group has taken decisive measures to diminish cash outflow across all operations, including renegotiations with suppliers and financial institutions. With salary cost being the single largest cost item, the Company is taking the following steps:

  • The employment of around two thousand employees will be terminated. This affects all divisions within the Company, although roles directly linked to production, such as crew, maintenance and ground operations, are affected the most.
  • The majority of the remaining employees continue in part-time roles and those in full-time roles are affected by a salary reduction.

Furthermore, the Company has implemented changes to its organizational structure.

The Company’s operations will consist of seven divisions: Sales & Customer Experience, Air Freight & Logistics (Icelandair Cargo), Aircraft Leasing & Consulting (Loftleidir Icelandic), Flight Operations, Finance, People & Culture and a new division Business Development & Digital. Following the changes, the Executive Committee will consist of eight members, including the CEO, instead of nine before. Tomas Ingason, who has served as Chief Information Officer since the beginning of March 2019, will head up the new division. Ivar S. Kristinsson, who has served as Managing Director of Fleet & Network will leave the Executive Committee but continue leading the Company’s fleet management and development. In addition, organizational changes have also been made within each of the divisions and their departments, reducing the number of next level Directors by 19.

Bogi Nils Bogason, President and CEO Icelandair Group

“These measures are very painful yet necessary. We are facing considerable uncertainty for the unforeseeable future and preparing the Company for an uncertain period of limited operations. We hope to be able to scale up quickly as soon as markets start to recover and offer those affected employment again. Despite the significant reduction in our workforce, we are safeguarding necessary core operations and maintaining the flexibility and agility to respond quickly when demand starts to increase.“

In other news, Icelandair Group and DB Schenker have signed an agreement regarding 45 cargo flights between Shanghai in China and Munich in Germany, transporting medical equipment for health care providers across Europe. Additional flights from Shanghai to Chicago, USA, through Iceland are also part of the agreement.

Three Boeing 767 aircraft will be redesigned for this project where the passengers seats will be removed to accomodate the freight load within the passenger cabin. The financial amount of the agreement is confidential. Icelandair Group’s subsidiaries, Icelandair Cargo and Loftleidir Icelandic – the Company’s aircraft leasing and consulting business – manage the preparation and execution of the flights. The partnership is regarding a minimum of 45 flights but the parties have already agreed to continue with additional flights to China as long as needed.

Icelandair aircraft photo gallery: