Coronavirus Impact: Icelandair Lays Off 2,000 Staff, Cuts Salaries to Survive

Icelandic airline Icelandair said Tuesday it would lay off about 2,000 of its staff as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact air travel "for the unforeseeable future." In response to the impact, Icelandair said the company was preparing for an "extended period of minimum operations."

The company said that "the employment of around two thousand employees will be terminated," adding that crew, maintenance and ground operations, would be most affected.

Icelandair added that the "majority of the remaining employees continue in part-time roles" and those in full-time positions would be affected by salary reductions.

"These measures are very painful yet necessary. We are facing considerable uncertainty for the unforeseeable future," Bogi Nils Bogason, CEO of Icelandair, said in a statement.

Bogason added that they hoped to be able to offer that affected employment again once markets started to recover.

In 2018, Icelandair had some 4,600 full-time employees and carried 4.4 million passengers, according to the company. As of Tuesday, Iceland had confirmed 1,795 cases of the new coronavirus and 10 deaths.