Airport operator, Isavia, grounded an Air Berlin Aircraft at Keflavik International Airport tonight due to unpaid airport charges. The action is based on provisions of the Aviation Act, to guarantee payment of the charges.
Air Berlin filed a petition of the opening of insolvency proceedings in August and the unpaid airport charges incurred prior the insolvency period. The action will inevitably affect the passengers who had booked a flight with Air Berlin, but this action is considered to be the final resource to ensure payment for services already provided. Isavia will have additional member of staff located at the airport to assist those who will be affected by this action if needed.
Update Oct 20 2017, 16:04:
The grounding of the Air Berlin aircraft in Iceland is lawful according to Icelandic law
In reply to Air Berlin’s statements in the German media:
Isavia’s actions with regards to the grounding of the Air Berlin aircraft at Keflavik Airport are legal according to Icelandic law. Obligations undertaken in Iceland are subject to Icelandic law. German law are not applicable in Iceland.
The actions are in accordance with the Icelandic Aviation Act, Article 136, which reads as follows:
"The Civil Aviation Administration and providers of aerodrome or aviation services may prevent an aircraft from taking off until such time as all fees for the aircraft in question or other operations of the owner or user of the aircraft have been paid or security has been posted for such payment."
Isavia provides services for airlines, as all airport operators. The airlines operating at Keflavik Airport have an obligation to pay for these services according to the fee structure in place and agreements that they have undertaken. Air Berlin should already have taken these costs into account by including them in their ticket prices.
Isavia wants to emphasize that its actions focuses only on one aircraft and Isavia will not take any such action against other Air Berlin aircraft.