WOW Air ceases trading, putting the travel plans of thousands in jeopardy

WOW Air ceases trading, putting the travel plans of thousands in jeopardy

WOW Air, a relatively small low-priced airline operating out of Iceland, folded with little warning this morning, leaving thousands of passengers stranded when their flights were suddenly cancelled.

The regulator said there are a number of options for passengers who booked flights via other methods, including requesting a refund through credit and debit card providers or making a claim with their travel insurance provider. The airline, which flew a total of 3.5 million passengers previous year, advised passengers to book new flights on other airlines, and said some may be eligible for compensation.

In its early years the airline expanded fast to 37 destinations and reported up to 60 percent annual growth in passenger numbers. At Reykjavik's Keflavik International Airport, passengers slept at the airport after canceled flights. According to Business Insider, refund claims are often the last to be paid out in bankruptcy cases. The airline was offering flights from November through March for under $140.

"Honestly the worst part is that WOW hasn't even reached out to inform passengers like myself", Spence said.


Planes leaving from Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Detroit, New York, and Baltimore were grounded on Wednesday night while aircraft flying to its Reykjavik hub from cities across Europe failed to take off on Thursday.

Mogensen had been working furiously over the past months to save the airline he founded in 2011, holding talks with potential rescuers including Icelandair and USA private equity firm Indigo Partners.

And with the heavy stopover promotions by Iceland's tourism industry as travelers shuttle between the USA and Europe, another transatlantic low-priced option vaporizes.

Wow Air has ceased operation. "We're fortunate that we are both retired, so we don't have to be back on any special date, and obviously we're financially stable enough to not worry about the costs of getting home and booking another flight", Fay O'Brien said by phone from Iceland later Thursday.


Nick Laporte stranded due to Icelandic Airline bankruptcy. Iceland Air is now the major way to travel to the popular volcanic island, likely bringing up the prices given the solid demand and a slash in supply.

Wow Air was founded in late 2011 with the goal of offering cheap flights and competing with Icelandair.

In 2018, WOW Air, which employs 1,000 people, transported 3.5 million passengers.


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