Following the economic collapse of Greece, mass strikes and protests have become common occurrences. The effects of the instability have been felt outside of Greece and the most recent case was on Tuesday, June 28th when the air traffic controllers’ strike disrupted the plans of thousands of tourists.
An Icelandic travel agency, VITA, was unable to fly back 180 passengers scheduled to leave Greece on Tuesday. The group was located in Corfu, a Greek island in the Adriatic Sea.
VITA chartered an airplane from Air Finland to pick up the passengers and the plane was expected to arrive last night at 10 pm in Corfu. Departure time was set at 11 pm local time and passengers were expected to land at 1 am local time in Iceland.
Given the strike and Icelandair’s then unresolved salary negotiations with the Icelandic Airline Pilot Association, this was the safest way to resolve the matter successfully.
Helgi Eysteinsson, the CEO of VITA, told Morgunbladid passengers had been informed of the delay and VITA would pay for the accommodation as is customary.
Passengers traveling to Corfu were booked on a flight with Icelandair to Helsinki to catch their Air Finland charter flight; the flight departed yesterday morning from Keflavík.
From Keflavík airport. Photo by Icelandic Photo Agency.
According to Helgi, the political instability has had no effect on bookings to Greece and the next group traveling with VITA to Corfu is scheduled for the fall.