Wealth Advisor Rockville, MD
Wow, indeed! Icelandic budget airline Wow has suddenly ceased operations, cancelling all flights and stranding passengers on both sides of the Atlantic, as of March 28.
The airline announced the immediate closure on Wow Air’s website: “WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled.”
The website advised stranded passengers to book new flights on other airlines. “Passengers are advised to check available flights with other airlines,“ the website reads.
The statement suggests other airlines may honor a discounted rate called a “rescue fare.” The statement says, “Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances. Information on those airlines will be published, when it becomes available.”
The airline, which first had flight in 2012, also advised that some passengers may be eligible for compensation over the canceled flights if they used a credit card: “Passengers whose ticket was paid with a credit card are advised to contact their credit card company to check whether a refund of the ticket cost will be issued.”
Wow Air CEO Skúli Mogensen explained to Icelandic state broadcaster RUV that the company was in negotiations to save the airline that went on until the early morning in Iceland.
Morgensen says he believed the company would make the deal, but things didn’t go as planned.
“As is normal, people believed we would get the investment,” Mogensen told RUV. “We have been very transparent, but it didn’t happen.”
According to Mogensen, more than 1,000 passengers are affected by the flight cancellations.
Of the people stranded, Mogensen said, “I’m very sorry about this as these are people who have supported us. I’m disappointed not to honor our commitments.”
In November, it was announced that Icelandair Group, the owner and holding company of rival carrier Icelandair and several other travel industry companies in Iceland, would be acquiring the entire share capital of Wow Air. Unfortunately, within weeks the proposal fell apart. However, Icelandair Group and Wow had still been in talks—but the deal completely fell apart in the last week, reports CNBC.
The carrier employed more than 1,000 people by 2018 and in the same year carried around 3.5 million passengers in its 11 aircraft.
Like many low-budget carries, the company’s model was to offer flights with ultra-low prices before adding on extra charges for seat selection, baggage, leg room and food and beverage. A typical base fare for a Wow flight from the U.S. to Europe was often priced at less than $200.
However, the airline was met with negative customer reviews over quality and increased delays.
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