WOW Air Shuts Down

Iceland-based budget airline WOW Air has officially ceased operations. As a result, all remaining WOW Air flights have been cancelled, the carrier reported in a travel alert posted to its website.

For passengers affected by the cancellation, WOW Air is advising them to check with their credit card company to check whether the refund of the ticket cost will be issued. Passengers may also be able to claim compensation from a travel protection policy, depending on their exact policy deals, and they may also be entitled to compensation from the airline itself in accordance with the European regulation on Air Passenger Rights.

The official end of operations comes following a number of last-minute cancellations by the airline earlier this week, when talks with Icelandair regarding a possible takeover collapsed.

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WOW Air first began operations in 2012, in an attempt to snag a piece of the growing low-cost transatlantic travel market. Offering transatlantic flights that connect via Reykjavik, which was benefiting from Iceland’s status as a red-hot tourism destination, the airline offered London to New York fares as low as £99, one way.

However, as the airline expanded, it was forced to take on more debt, and eventually it had to begin scaling back, dropping a number of U.S. cities outside the East Coast from its route network, as well as scrapping a planned route to India before it began. Additionally, its competitor in the low-cost transatlantic travel market, Norwegian, was offering direct flights.

“It simply costs more than £99 to fly between continents,” Kristjan Sigurjonsson, editor of Icelandic news site Turisti, explained earlier this week.

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