The Chandelier

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Author Fríða Ísberg (1992-) is a writer and poet, born and raised in Reykjavík. She studied philosophy and creative writing at the University of Iceland and has written for the Times Literary Supplement. Her book Slitförin (Stretch Marks) was one of the most popular poetry books in Iceland in 2017. She is a member of poetry collective Svikaskáld ( Impostor Poets), a group of six women who’ve published two poetry collections, Ég er ekki að rétta upp hönd (I Am Not Raising My Hand) in 2017 and Ég er fagnaðarsöngur (I am Applause) in 2018. Her short story collection Kláði (Itch) is due to be published in October 2018.

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Primera Air Headed For Bankruptcy

Primera Air and Prime Air Scandinavia, part of Primera Travel Group, are headed for bankruptcy, Vísir reports. The two companies will apply for suspensions of payment tomorrow. All of Primera’s staff has been sacked. They were notified of this in an e-mail today, according to Vísir’s sources.

The e-mail states that late deliveries for the company’s new Airbus planes, with the following delays and flight cancellations, are among the factors that brought the company down. The owners have been trying unsuccessfully to refinance the company in the last months.

The company is now working to transfer all of Primera’s staff, which are situated in a number of Primera destinations, to their homes. Employees situated in Riga were told of the proceedings in a meeting today. Primera’s owners will release a report at midnight, Riga time, with further information.

Primera Air Group aircraft has flown from Iceland with an air operating certificate (AOC) from Latvia. The company flew for Icelandic travel agencies, while the flight attendants are largely from Latvia. Two Icelanders spearhead the group, president and owner Andri Már Ingólfsson, and CEO Hrafn Þorgeirsson. The airline was formed by 2009 by the Icelandic based Primera Travel Group.

Below is the e-mail sent out to all Primera Air staff today:

Dear colleagues, It is with great regret I am reaching out to you all this dark day. We have just been informed that both Primera Air Nordic and Primera Air Scandinavia will file for bankruptcy tomorrow October 2, 2018. Currently flights are operated as normally and OCC, Crewing and Travel are working on arranging travel home for crews who happen to be on outstations. Reasons I am sure are many but very high cost for the aircraft with corrosion last year as well as the delays of our new Airbuses lead to too high costs for wet lease and cancellations which in the end became too much for the airlines. Our owner was working on securing financing but was not able to in the end. This is what was stated during today’s staff meeting in the Riga office. All the staff in the Riga office have been informed but official information will not be sent out until midnight by our owner. I understand it is difficult but please keep this to yourself if you can until after the official notification from the owner. In fact, I am not even authorized to send this email but I think it is the right thing to do for all of you out there on the line. You deserve to know. I will continue to be available on phone and email. God knows it has not been without its challenges but thanks to all of you great colleagues it has been a real honour to be at the controls of the flight ops department the past 7 years. We got the permits, we flew the flights, we got good reviews from the passengers. In other words, we fulfilled our part of the mission. The financial and commercial aspects we could not influence. Thank you all for the past years and take good care of you out there.

Sigur Rós Member Quits in Wake of Sexual Assault Allegations

Orri Páll Dýrason, the drummer of Sigur Rós, has stepped down from the band in the wake of sexual assault allegations, Rúv reports. Orri revealed this in a Facebook status on his personal page earlier today. The matter revolves around sexual assault allegations against Orri, made on Instagram by artist Meagan Boyd. According to Meagan’s posts, Orri sexually assaulted her in January 2013 after a night out.

Meagan’s post on Instagram reads:

“In January of 2013 I was sexually assaulted by a member of the band @sigurros when they were in Los Angeles recording an album that was set to come out later that same year. My assailant’s name is Orri Páll Dýrason. I never reported it. I never expressed my pain publicly. I harbored this ache now for almost 6 years… for many reasons. I felt no one would believe me, I felt I had been irresponsible for trusting him just because he was in a band I loved and I respected him as an artist. I was drunk, and I had met him at a club (I had a brief period in which I was a dancer at a club called “the body shop”), I also engaged in a kiss with him before falling asleep in the same bed, after that I completely knocked out. I woke up with the feeling of being penetrated without my consent during a deep slumber.. it happened twice that night, and I wondered myself why I didn’t leave after the first time- but I was drunk, dead tired, in shock, and this was right before I ever heard of anything like Uber/lyft … but none of that should matter because no one deserves to be raped/touched/licked/fucked without CONSENT. (((My heart is racing and I’m shaking just typing this.))) I wasn’t ready to go public in the midst of the hype of the#metoo movement because just speaking about it gives me intense anxiety and I was about to give birth to my first child. In the wake of the news of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford calling out Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, I was triggered to speak out myself. Ironically, he’s now engaged to feminist activist who is also the founder of the Icelandic Slut walk (go figure…) And if I hear another damn Sigur Ros song during a yoga class ever again I’m gonna scream. Those songs I once found deliciously calming, beautiful and serene now leave a disgusting taste in my mouth. #endrapeculture

Orri’s statement reads:

“I begin with thanking my friends and relatives for the support you have shown. It is good for me feel for your trust, despite the serious public allegations against me.

This matter has undeniably taken its toll on me for the past few days. Justifiably, some will say, and I do not intend to argue with those people. However, I sincerely ask the same people to steer their anger into the right path and abstain from dragging my family, and especially my wife, into this matter. At the same time, I ask people to stay calm and not to be divided into two battling armies, these are not court proceedings, just Meagan’s words against mine, on the internet. Loud and provocative words are in nobody’s favour – neither to me or her.

In light of the scale of this matter, I have decided to leave Sigur Rós. That is a difficult decision for me, but I cannot have these serious allegations influence the band and the important and beautiful work that has been done there for the last years. A job that is so dear to me.

I will do anything in my power to get myself out of this nightmare, but out of respect for those actually suffering from sexual violence, I will not take that fight public.

Love Orri”

Icelandair Flight Attendants Affected By Air Quality

Icelandair plane Keflavík

Reduced air quality in an Icelandair airplane is believed to have led to air attendants heading to the hospital after landing, RÚV reports. The plane arrived from Canada yesterday morning. Jens Þórðarson, Icelandair’s director of airplane operations, says that the plane’s air conditioning system was checked and filters were replaced. The plane took off again yesterday afternoon.

The flight arrived from Edmonton, Canada. All of the flight’s flight attendants headed to the hospital after landing due to unpleasantness, headaches, and signs of fatigue. Jens commented that a further investigation had not taken place yet. “We are still waiting for results from some measurements, but everything points towards a reduced airflow in the plane due to a blockage, or dirty filters, in the air conditioning system. That can cause a less than desired oxygen saturation in certain parts of the plane”, he stated.

There is no evidence of passengers feeling any discomfort. Jens says that events like this are not uncommon onboard airplanes as air quality is worse than down on earth. Icelandair has attempted to reduce the likelihoods of this happening after a similar case happened in the summer of 2016. “We inspect air filters and the air conditioning system more regularly and more thoroughly than both manufacturers and other airplanes do, but air filters can become dirty very rapidly. It can happen if there is dirt in the air conditioning system which is used down on earth”, Jens commented. “The filters were changed and they turned out to be a little dirty. We also went over a couple of parts connected to the air conditioning system, as well as inspect parts which are connected to the plane’s stability.”

Have the crew recovered from the event? “They were tired yesterday but I have not contacted them today, also to let them rest. They asked me to contact if there was anything but we will continue to investigate the event.

Traveller Rescued after 8m Fall

A tourist in his fifties was rescued yesterday after falling off a cliff near Goðafoss waterfall, according to the police in North-east Iceland. A large team of search-and-rescue volunteers was called out because when the incident was reported, it was suspected that the man had fallen into the waterfall or Skjálfandafljót river.

The man had been separated from his group who were beginning to get restless. Women who were travelling in the area noticed the man’s bags in the cliffs by the river and the police was notified. It was considered likely that he had fallen into the river so a team of about a hundred search-and-rescue volunteers was mustered. It was soon discovered that the man had fallen into Hansens-gat, a gap in the cliff’s edge and not into the river itself. He landed on solid ground, but the fall is about 8m (26.2ft). He was transported to a hospital in Reykjavík by helicopter with trauma to his head and back. He was wet and cold when he was found after lying where he fell for 75 minutes with decreased consciousness.

The man was travelling in Iceland with his family, who received crisis counselling at the Akureyri hospital.