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Let’s just get this out of the way: if you have a flight booked on WOW Air any time over the next few months, you’d be wise to check back and see if you booked it with a credit card that offers travel protections. In what feels like a slow-moving, but nonetheless inevitable, collapse of an airline, the splashy low-cost carrier that helped fuel Iceland’s tourism boom is resorting to drastic measures just to stay afloat. [Update, 3/28/2019: WOW Air has ceased operations. Find our ongoing coverage of WOW Air’s collapse, and what affected passengers can do about it, here.]
After cancelling routes from Iceland to New York’s JFK, Dallas, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Tel Aviv, the carrier has today outlined a restructuring plan that’ll see its fleet size dwindle from 20 to 11 — all single-aisle Airbus. It is also in negotiations with its lessors to “return some of its aircraft including all Airbus A330s,” with four Airbus A321s being sold for a quick cash injection.
No changes in WOW’s route schedule are expected until January, at which point it will seemingly axe service to New Delhi, Chicago and Los Angeles based on a zeroing out of the schedule. Keep in mind that service to New Delhi was announced only a week ago, and already it’s been chopped in a bid to simply survive.
Additionally, the airline has announced layoffs for 111 full-time employees, leaving approximately 1,000 staff to run things. Skuli Mogensen CEO and founder of WOW Air, said the following: “This is the most difficult day in the history of WOW Air. We have dedicated people who have worked hard to make WOW Air a reality and it breaks my heart to downsize the company. However, in order to ensure our future and preserve WOW Air in the long run, we unfortunately must take these drastic measures.”
H/T: Anurag Kotoky
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