Does Wow Air Have a New Financial Savior?
Don’t count Wow Air out just yet.
[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.]
Even though the struggling ultra-low-cost carrier has been cutting routes, selling off 20% of its fleet and attempting to negotiate a failed buyout from Icelandair, it might have found a new financial savior willing to step up in the nick of time to save the airline from a seemingly imminent demise.
Indigo Partners, the private equity firm that owns budget airline Frontier, said Thursday it plans to buy a stake in the faltering Reykjavik-based carrier. The two aviation groups said they have reached a preliminary agreement, the specific terms of which were not disclosed. But if the deal goes through after due diligence, Wow’s CEO Skuli Mogensen would remain the airline’s primary shareholder.
National flag carrier Icelandair had originally offered to buy Wow, but its preliminary purchase agreement laid out several stipulations that the purple-liveried carrier had to complete by the Icelandair shareholders’ meeting on Nov. 30 or the deal would not go through. And it seems that Wow wasn’t able to hold up its end of the bargain.
Now the question is whether the airline’s shaky balance sheets, exacerbated by the recent record-high cost of jet fuel, will pass Indigo Partners’ due diligence.
If it can manage to cement the private equity investment, Wow will be in capable hands.
Indigo Partners not only owns Frontier, but also invested in fellow ULCC Spirit Airlines when it was struggling, and is widely credited with turning around the airline’s bottom line. Spirit is now one of the most profitable airlines in the ultra-budget sector, posting a third quarter net income of $97.5 million in 2018.
“We have a strategic vision for [Wow], and look forward to working with its employees and agents to deliver that vision,” Bill Franke, managing partner of Indigo Partners, said in a statement.
The firm is also currently a lead investor in international ultra-low-cost carriers Wizz Air, Volairs and JetSMART.
Featured image courtesy of WOW Air.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.