On Tuesday and Thursday this week Air Traffic Controllers in Iceland had a strike causing significant disruptions to Icelandair’s flight schedule. Further strikes have been announced at Keflavik Airport on Monday and Wednesday next week. Thus, the labor actions will continue to cause significant disruptions to Icelandair’s flight schedule and seriously impact people’s travel plans. This week 13,000 Icelandair passengers were affected by the labor actions and next week Icelandair estimates that 23,000 passengers will be affected. Although Icelandair will make reasonable efforts to get all passengers to their intended destination, before and during the holidays it is becoming more likely that this will not be possible due to heavy traffic at this time of the year.

The strike each day takes place between 4am and 10am which is the time period when most Icelandair’s flights from North America arrive at Keflavik Airport and most of Icelandair’s flights to Europe depart. The timing of the actions is selected by the Icelandic Air Traffic Controller Association to cause damage to the Icelandic airlines while other international carriers that fly to and from Keflavik Airport are not as affected.

Icelandair’s top priority is to use all reasonable efforts to ensure smooth and enjoyable travel experience of its passengers. At the same time, Icelandair estimates the cost of the labor actions this week to be significant. Due to the increased number of passengers next week in relation to the holiday season, further labor actions will lead to more significant disruptions with much greater negative financial effects for the company than during this week. Based on current assumptions the total cost of the labor actions could be around USD 5-7 million if a resolution will not be reached as soon as possible. Icelandair will pursue all efforts to seek full compensation from Isavia due to the financial effects of the strikes.

Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair:

“We are facing a very serious situation and it is urgent that a resolution will be reached. Iceland is particularly vulnerable to such labor actions as an island nation that depends solely on flight connections for travel to and from the country. The actions have already caused negative financial impact that will increase significantly as we get closer to the holiday season. The largest impact is on those who deserve it the least – people who are traveling to meet their families and friends at this important time of the year. We will of course do all that we can to get people to their destinations before the holidays, but we are not certain that it will be possible during this heavy traveling period. It is therefore crucial that a resolution will be found as soon as possible.”

Contact Information

Investors: Iris Hulda Thorisdottir, Director Investor Relations. E-mail: iris@icelandair.is 
Media: Asdis Petursdottir, Director Communications. E-mail: asdis@icelandair.is