The frequency of illness among Icelandair crewmembers has increased so much that the company is taking action, RÚV reports. Icelandair takes the matter seriously and has requested the assistance of the Icelandic Transport Accident Investigation Board.
A letter sent to crew members because of the problem states that at any given time, there are 400 crew members in the air, and that some of those can be expected to get sick at work. Lately, though, there has been an increase in the number of incidents reported where crew members are sick on board.
Each case has been analyzed in cooperation with the company doctor. The cases vary and have little in common. They have been reported onboard various planes, both Boeing 757 and 767.
In some cases, there seems to be a connection between symptoms and the aircraft’s movement, temperature and uneven heat distribution. Other cases appear to be unrelated to the aircraft. Reports of illness are much likelier to come from younger people with limited work experience than from older, more experienced ones.
A technical team has looked at aircraft maintenance, replaced propellers and filters, inspected air ducts, and cleaned ventilation systems.
Furthermore, the company doctor has analyzed medical reports and blood tests taken from staff following flights. All tests have come out normal.
Besides, flight recorder data have been analyzed by the Icelandic Transport Accident Investigation Board. Finally, Icelandair has adopted the use of a special air sample kit which can be used if more than one crew member gets sick during flight.
According to Guðjón Arngrímsson, Icelandair’s communications director, there has been no increase in reported cases of illness among passengers.