Our employees are one of the Company’s greatest strategic assets. All employees are part of the same team and the Company’s core values, passion, simplicity and responsibility, provide guidance to maintain a strong and motivating company culture.

Number of employees

For the fiscal year 2021, Icelandair Group consisted of multiple operating companies with Icelandair as its core with 97% of the employee population, whereof the support functions of Icelandair support the subsidiaries and thus creating scalability and synergies within the Group of operating companies. Along with the ramp up of Icelandair’s operations during the year the number of employees increased by 1000.

2021 2020 2019
Icelandair 1,869 2,208 3,451
Icelandair Cargo 86 77 91
Fjarvakur - Icelandair Shared Services* 131
Air Iceland Connect** 69 100 210
Loftleidir Icelandair 12 13 14
VITA 16 19 29
Icelandair Hotels (3*) 137 659
Iceland Travel (4*) 35 67 126
Icelandair Group (5*) 4
2,087 2,621 4,715

The rapid ramp up of our operations in 2021 called for a great effort in recruitment. We were fortunate to have many of our experienced colleagues return to the company as well as a number of new recruits that allow us to return stronger, and more diverse than ever. I will remember the year as one, where once again, my colleagues at Icelandair pulled together to over-deliver in a highly challenging situation.

Kristján Pétur Sæmundsson

Talent Manager

Health and safety

General health and wellbeing of Icelandair's employees is a priority and the Company is committed to providing an attractive and exciting place to work where people can thrive at their best. A comprehensive Health & Attendance Policy is in place under which – among other things – Icelandair offers various health-related programs and initiatives to further its employee's health and wellbeing. Promoting good health among employees is high on our agenda and initiatives have been launched with the overall aim of improving the well-being of all employees. Further to this, the Company has a service agreement with the Health Protection Service (Heilsuvernd) on confidential medical services ensuring employees' access to health care.

Health Indicator*


Average no. of sick days per FTE

* The health indicator is inclusive of employee sick days

Extensive measures were taken during the continued pandemic in 2021 to ensure the health and safety of Icelandair's employees. Special preventive arrangements were made to ensure the safety of all employees. We continued to make necessary changes to work schedules to ensure the safety of employees and to ensure that the Company complied with all rules and regulations, with regards to restrictions on gatherings of people, number limits, proximity limits and mask use.

A new policy was implemented regarding remote working called Flexible working @Icelandair. The aim of the policy is to provide employees with the flexibility and opportunity to work remotely when the job does not require them to be on site. In addition to increased flexibility and good work-life balance for employees, this policy also gives the Company an opportunity to recruit and employ the best talent for the organization irrespective of location and reduce carbon footprint by decreasing unnecessary transportation.

During the past year, there was continued emphasis on strong communication and information flow from leadership and necessary support in remote working. We are proud of how our people have adapted to new working conditions and constant changes due to Covid-19 restrictions.

World Class Workplace award by Effectory

Icelandair was awarded a World Class Workplace, number one globally, by Effectory, a leading European provider of HR solutions. This award is awarded to high performing organizations once a year that show excellence in employership and is based solely on the opinions of employees. Following a company-wide survey, the results are compared to Effectory's reliable benchmarks. The results demonstrate that Icelandair Group's employees are very satisfied and engaged.

Sveina Berglind Jónsdóttir, Director of People Operations at Icelandair: “We are very proud of this award, especially after last year - that was very challenging for our business as for other airlines. Winning is truly rewarding and encouraging. we will continue to pursue our HR strategy and keep employees informed, be as honest and transparent as possible and give employees the chance to have a voice.”


Equal rights

Equal rights policy

One of Icelandair Group's sustainability focus areas is gender equality. The Company emphasizes equality, diversity and non-discrimination. This focus, which ensures that all employees are provided with equal opportunities and equal rights, is an integral part of the Company's Equal Rights Policy and Equal Rights Plan.

The Company promotes equality by providing equal job opportunities and fairness for employees and job applicants. Rich emphasis is on building diverse teams and any discrimination is not tolerated. Diversity in our leadership team is specially important.

Gender ratio

Gender equlity objectives for 2025

Achieving gender equality across the Company's operations remains one of the Company's core focus areas when it comes to sustainability. The Company continues its efforts towards its long-term goals in this area. Icelandair Group has set targets in line with IATA's "25by25" equality project about gender equality within management, pilot positions, cabin crew positions and aircraft maintenance.

Equal opportunities and gender stereotypes

The first step to ensure equal opportunities is to reduce the impact of gender stereotypes by showing strong role models and introduce the jobs to girls where women are underrepresented and to boys where men are underrepresented. Icelandair needs to ensure that the roles offered at Icelandair are appealing and available for everyone.

Icelandair has made considerable improvements when it comes to gender equality in recent years. Ten years ago, there was only one woman of five Board Directors and only men within the Executive Management. Today, women represent: 40% of the Board of Directors, 14% of the Executive Management, 41% of other management positions and 40% of overall management positions.

Gender ratio - management

Before Covid, Icelandair was among the airlines that had the highest proportion of female pilots in the world, or 12%, increasing from 6.5% in 2009. However the effects of Covid-19 has changed the landscape for female pilots significantly and the proportion of female pilots was 9% averaged for 2020 and down to 5% in 2021.

Male cabin crew members were 5.3% 10 years ago but were up to 9% in 2019. During 2021 the company was able to hire more men in seasonal cabin crew positions but averaged over the year the proportion was 9%. The gender balance within aircraft maintenance roles has not changed over time and is still over 99% men.

Female Pilots

Male cabin crew

Equal Pay Policy

Icelandair implemented an equal pay policy in 2018. The purpose of the Equal Pay Policy is to ensure gender pay equality within the Company through the implementation of an Equal Pay System. Icelandair commits to ensure that equal wages are paid for jobs of equal value, irrespective of gender. Enforcement of the Policy and ensuring full observance of gender equality in decisions on wages is the responsibility of management. The Executive Board of Icelandair will annually establish equal pay objectives based on measurements derived from a pay analysis. Two companies within Icelandair Group, Icelandair and Icelandair Cargo had been certified by a third party and received Equal pay certification in 2021. Icelandair and Icelandair Cargo were audited in 2021 and will be recertified 2022-2025.


2021 2020 2019
Gender pay ratio Basic earnings 0.3% in favour of men 0.93% in favour of women 0.24% in favour of men
Gender pay ratio Regular earnings 3% in favour of men 2.86% in favour of men 1.87% in favour of men

Equal rights policy and plan

According to the Act on Equal Status and Rights Irrespective of Gender no. 150/2020 all companies and institutions that have 25 or more employees must make an Equality Plan or integrate equality matters into their personnel policies. The Company updated their Equality plan in 2021. The Equality Plan contains goals that are defined and a project execution plan where responsibilities and key steps are stated. The equality plan consists of more than 20 actions.


Employee age distribution

The change in Icelandair's workforce age distribution between 2019 and 2020 is caused by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as the Company has let go of more than 2,000 valued employees. The change is most visible in the younger and older age groups. In 2021 the age distribution is moving back to pre-Covid numbers. As the leading airline in Iceland and an important employer, a successful ramp up of its operations is crucial for Icelandic tourism, the economy and society at large. Icelandair transported around 350 thousand tourists to Iceland and recruited almost 1,000 employees in 2021, bringing the number of FTEs to almost 2,400 at year-end 2021.

At Icelandair Group, 97% of employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements, the flight operations unions have a tenure contract clause that means that the youngest pilots, cabin crew and aircraft maintenance technicians leave the company first. This deduces that the most senior employees are now working and when the company continues ramping up, employees are hired back in terms of previous tenure at the Company. Therefore, it will take time to reach balance with regards to diversity in the workforce.

Employee age distribution Male / Female 2020

Employee age distribution Male / Female 2021

Employee tenure

As Icelandair has historically been the only international airline operator based in Iceland there are consequently many jobs and roles that are industry specific and thus almost exclusively found in Icelandair. This means that employees in such jobs typically have a longer tenure with the Company than usual in the labour market in Iceland. However, the effects of Covid-19 are that in 2019 45% of the workforce had been working for the company for less than three years but now that proportion is down to 14%. At year-end, 29% of the workforce had been working for more than 20 years at the Company.

Employee tenure male/female

Employee turnover rates

The employee turnover rates vary across subsidiaries within the group with the overall rate for the group as a whole of 7% down from 69% in 2020.

Employee turnover rates 2021


rate for the group as a whole

Employee turnover rates 2020


rate for the group as a whole

Employees satisfaction

Icelandair measures its working environment and cultural alignment through an annual workplace audits. The 2021 audit showed that 55,1% of the employees was both engaged and committed. This means that the attitude of the majority of the employees was positive both towards their daily job and towards the company. This critical element of the company culture is further supported with a high employee net promoter score of 32,5 out of 100 (comprised of percentage of promotors less percentage of detractors). These two important measures from the workplace audit both show and reinforce the efficacy and effectiveness of our People & Culture strategy.

Competense development

Icelandair has fostered and developed a capable and knowledgeable group of employees that possess valuable airline and aviation expertise. It seeks to attract talented and qualified employees to ensure that it can meet and exceed its current and future operational challenges while ensuring and facilitating a good and progressive working culture in which the employees can both thrive and perform at their best.

Therefore, it is imperative that our employees have and display a growth mindset where they are both willing and able to learn and develop so both may gain. To that end, Icelandair's People & Culture team has taken measures to supply its diverse employee groups with access to market leading learning and development material. By the same token, Icelandair upholds high safety and security standards and has in place detailed action plans designed to achieve these goals with mandatory training carried out for all employees working roles that are designated as part of aviation safety and work environment that is considered risk to occupational health and safety. All new employees go through a company orientation training which includes health and safety training when they commence their employment with the company.

However, training procedures within the company have changed a lot during the pandemic. With less opportunities to group employees together in training halls or classrooms, we have had to rely even more on online meeting tools and the online learning management system, Eloomi, to provide training.

Even though this has been challenging, it has also provided valuable experience and opened up different possibilities in training. In addition, it is possible to bring employees and leaders, who are located in different parts of the world, closer together by using online training sessions that everyone can attend, wherever they are located.