16 September, 2023

Gunnar Már Sigurfinnsson resigns as Managing Director of Icelandair Cargo

There is more upheaval at the former national carrier of Iceland,  Icelandair as Gunnar Már Sigurfinnsson has decided to resign as Managing Director of Icelandair Cargo and will also leave Icelandair Group’s Executive Committee. 

It would seem the toxic culture at Icelandair has taken another scalp as Gunnar Már's resignation is with immediate effect but will, according to the company continue to work within Icelandair in the upcoming months and support his successor as needed. 

Einar Már Guðmundsson, Director of Icelandair’s Technical Operations, will become the Interim Managing Director of Icelandair Cargo and become a member of Icelandair Group’s Executive Committee while holding the interim position. A formal process will now be initiated to search for the future Managing Director of the company. 

Einar Már Guðmundsson has worked for Icelandair since 2015 as a Director at the company’s Technical Operations. Previously, Einar Már was the Leader of Procurement at Rio Tinto Alcan (ISAL) for three years and before that he was the Operations Manager of Skeljungur. Einar Már has an MBA degree from Copenhagen Business School and a BS degree in Science of Fisheries from the University of Akureyri. 

Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair Group commented:  “Gunnar Már has been an important team member at Icelandair for decades where he has served in various important roles within the Company. He has been part of Icelandair’s Executive Management since 2005 where he served as Chief Commercial Officer for a total of over 5 years. He has then successfully led Icelandair Cargo for 15 years where he played a vital role during the Covid-19 pandemic by seizing opportunities within the cargo business and generating important revenue while Icelandair was facing unprecedented difficulties. On behalf of the Icelandair team, I want to thank Gunnar Már for his invaluable service throughout the years and I look forward to continuing working with him on the important projects that we have ahead of us in the upcoming months.” 

Gunnar Már Sigurfinnsson is reported to have said this according to a press release, "I am immensely proud and grateful to have had the opportunity to work for Icelandair Group on numerous projects throughout my career. My career started in Vestmannaeyjar in 1986 and has now spanned a wide range of roles, from ground handling services all the way to the Executive Committee. During this time, I have enjoyed working with great people, both in Iceland and at the company's offices abroad – always focused on a common goal both during good and bad times. Icelandair has tremendous opportunities for further growth and an excellent group of employees who will ensure long-term success. I wish everyone in the Icelandair family success in their work and will, of course, continue to be there to assist on the important tasks ahead at the Company." 

The airline stated earlier this week that the cargo operation has remained challenging during July and August and the profit improvement expected at the time of publication of the Q2 financial results has not been realized, which may be why Gunnar Már has been forced out. His photo was removed from the Icelandair Groups corporate website pages before the press release was published. 

A number of staff have left the company in recent months with some citing a toxic culture within the management structure as the airline continues to cut costs and trim outlays for a profitable future.