The financial troubles saga of Icelandic airline WOW Air seems to have come to an end with the company announcing officially on their website this morning that they have ceased all operations.
See Also: Ultimate Guide to Flights to Iceland
A document entitled ‘Travel Alert’ on wowair.com states,
“Information for WOW AIR passengers
WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled.”
Overnight all flights with the low-cost airline had been cancelled with the final WOW flight to land being WW121 from Reykjaík to Detroit.
The end of operations came after the company failed to reach an agreement with investors that would secure more finances to keep the company afloat.
WOW CEO, Skúli Mogensen said in the statement, “We have run out of time and have unfortunately not been able to secure the funding of the company. I will never be able to forgive myself for not taking action sooner.”
The company had been working since October last year to cut costs and reduce debt. This involved failed negotiations with both Icelandair and the Indigo Partners Group, who own four other budget airlines.
WOW also managed to negotiate with its creditors to turn debt into equity within the company, but still needed a further ISK 5 billion (USD 8.6 million).
What does this mean for travellers who have flights booked with WOW?
Below are a few options for those who may find themselves stranded because of the cancellation of WOW Air Flights.
If you paid for your flight with a credit card
Contact your credit card company to check if it is possible to get a refund for the cost of the ticket.
If your ticket came from a European travel agent
If your ticket was part of a package tour and was purchased from an agent within the European Economic Area, your flight would usually be protected by the Package Travel Directive. You are encouraged to contact your travel agent to arrange an alternative flight.
Passengers who have purchased travel insurance should be eligible to access this protection to secure another flight. These passengers might also be able to claim compensation and assistance because of the delays and disruption.
Other Low-Cost Airlines
There are some other low-cost airlines that fly to and from Iceland daily, in cases of an airline ceasing operations, there are some airlines that will offer flights at a reduced rate. These are known as rescue fares. WOW Air and travel authorities are likely to publish the details of airlines offering rescue fares as they become available.
At this time Indigo Partners (who own Wizz Air) are purchasing the spots WOW air had at Gatwick Airport in the UK and Icelandair is working to get stranded passengers back to home.
Update: Iceland Air has now set up discounted Economy fares for stranded passengers on route to, from and through Iceland. For more information visit this page.
Here are the other airlines that operate flights to and from Iceland
For those travelling to Iceland in 2020, British travel agency Super Break will begin international flights to Akureyri in Iceland’s north starting in February. It is also possible to get to Iceland by cruise ships which dock at various harbours around the country each year.
Travellers can visit the below sites for up to date information.
– Icelandic Transport Authority: www.samgongustofa.is / www.icetra.is
– Keflavik Airport: www.isavia.is/en
– WOW AIR: www.wowair.com
– Posted at all relevant airports
General information about passenger rights can be found atwww.icetra.is