Friday 29 March 2019

WOW Air goes into receivership - thousands strandard

WOW air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign

Icelandic's low cost carrier WOW Air has suddenly ceased all operations, stranding thousands of passengers across two continents. In a statement on its website, the airline, which had earlier suspended all its flights, told passengers there would be no further flights and advised them to check flights with other airlines for ways to reach their destinations. The statement can be read here; WOW Air was founded in November 2011 and operated its inaugural flight on the 31st May 2012. WOW air was founded by entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen whose extensive business background was largely in technology and telecoms in Iceland, Europe, and North America. The sole owner of WOW air is Titan, an investment company owned by Mogensen, who is the company CEO and sits on the five-person board of directors. Mogensen said more than a 1,000 passengers had been affected by the grounding of aircraft. Its bankruptcy comes after six months of turbulent negotiations to sell the low-cost carrier, first to its main rival and flagship carrier Icelandair and later to Indigo Partners, an American company operating the airline Wizz.  WOW Air operated services between Iceland, Europe, Asia, and North America using Airbus A320 / A321 fleet. The airline was headquartered in Reykjavík and based at Keflavík International Airport (KEF/BIKF). In its early years, the airline expanded fast to 37 destinations and reported up to 60 per cent annual growth in passenger numbers. Its revenue per passenger, however, has not kept up and fell by about 20 per cent in 2017, according to the last earnings report. WOW grounded at least six planes in North America that were set to leave late Wednesday from Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Detroit, New York and Baltimore. In Europe, Reykjavik-bound planes from seven cities — Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt and Copenhagen — did not take off Thursday morning. WOW is the latest budget airline to collapse as the European airline sector grapples with over-capacity and high fuel costs. Recent failures include Britain's Flybmi, Nordic budget airline Primera Air and Cypriot counterpart Cobalt.

As of March 2019, WOW air had an all-Airbus fleet, consisting of the following aircraft:

WOW Air fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
W Y Total
Airbus A320neo 1 178 178
Airbus A321-200 5 8 192 200 1 wet-leased to Aruba Airlines
3 8 202 210
Airbus A321neo 2 8 192 200
Total 11

The Lufthansa Group, which includes Swiss, Lufthansa and Austrian airlines, is offering 25 percent off the ticket price if you depart by the 30th April and complete your trip by the 30th June. Proof of a Wow ticket is required. Icelandair, which services many of the same routes as Wow, will offer reduced return fares between the 28th March and April 11th: Aer Lingus is offering rescue fares through to the 11th April. For example, a one-way fare from Paris to Reagan National Airport costs about $246; the London-to-Washington rescue rate is about $208, including taxes. To qualify, passengers must have a ticket on Wow within the next 11 days and must reserve the Aer Lingus flight by phone. Norwegian Air is discounting economy fares by 25 percent from the 29th March to April 8th. Virgin Atlantic has also tweeted its assistance to passengers stuck in the United States, Britain or Canada. To take advantage of its reduced fares, you must book by the 6th April and complete your travel by the 30th April.

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