31 March, 2020

Air Iceland Connect to be absorbed into Icelandair

In another cost-cutting exercise, the Icelandair Group has decided to integrate the operations of its domestic and regional airline Air Iceland Connect into the normal operations of Icelandair. 

Air Iceland Connect operates domestic flights in Iceland and scheduled flights to Greenland. All supporting functions, such as sales, marketing, operations, finance, HR and IT will be integrated into Icelandair’s operations. The firm has remained silent on the number of job losses the integration will cause, however it is understood that at least 53 positions will be lost in the short term.

The Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of Air Iceland Connect, however, will remain separate, and its crew members will remain employed by the company. 

The role of Managing Director will be discontinued. Arni Gunnarsson, Managing Director of Air Iceland Connect, will become Managing Director of Icelandair Group’s subsidiary, Iceland Travel, replacing Bjorn Viglundsson who has served as Managing Director since June 2019. Arni joined Air Iceland Connect in 1999 as Sales & Marketing Manager and has served as Managing Director since 2005. 

“As I thank Arni Gunnarsson for his valuable contribution in building up our regional flight operation over the past 15 years, I welcome him in his new role within the Company. At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bjorn Viglundsson for his significant contribution to Icelandair Group,“ says Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair Group.

The absorption of Air Iceland Connect into Icelandair has been on the cards since the firm decided to curtail the regional airline's route network and cut services to Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also reduced its schedules on other routes and consolidated its operations. Despite the airline wishing to appeal more to incoming international travellers, it's website often requires visitors to pass two, three or four security CAPTCHA's especially when accessing the site from public networks and travel agencies. 

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