Low-cost airline WOW Air has ceased all operations this morning, causing passengers to be stranded across two continents. The budget airline from Iceland informed the public that all flights will be cancelled on its website, and suggested that customers seek out flights with alternative airlines in order to reach their destinations. WOW Air has suspended all of its flights, ceasing operations entirely.
Founded by Skuli Mogensen, an Icelandic investor and entrepreneur, the low-cost carrier began operating in 2012. WOW Air quickly grew popular with young passengers due to its incredibly low ticket prices and cheap flights between North America and Europe.
A long and bumpy road paved the way to WOW Air's announcement of bankruptcy. The airline was involved in a gruelling six-month marathon of negotiations as it attempted to sell off the company to Icelandair, WOW Air's major competitor, and Indigo Partners, a US company that operates the airline Wizz.
In a letter to his employees, Mogensen wrote, "I will never forgive myself for not acting sooner. WOW was clearly an incredible airline and we were on the path to do amazing things again."
According to CTV News, tourism serves as one of Iceland's most profitable industries. With WOW Air no longer in operation, Iceland's economy will undoubtedly suffer, especially during "high season" in the summer months.
At least six planes set to depart from North America were grounded yesterday. The flights that were expected to leave late Wednesday night were from Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Detroit, New York, and Baltimore.
In Europe, flights from seven cities around Europe were bound for Reykjavik for Thursday morning. But the flights - from Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Copenhagen - were all cancelled.
If you are a WOW Air passenger requiring further information and assistance, please click here to read the company's latest Travel Alert.
People around the world are reacting to the news of WOW Air's bankruptcy. Many are speaking out via social media to express their frustration, disappointment, and anxiety related to the announcement of the airline's flight cancellations.
good morning to everyone except @wow_air— Jillian Lucy Gosser (@jillybean5595) March 28, 2019
This is NOT the kind of message you wanna see if you have a @wow_air flight out of @EWRairport (or any other for that matter). The airline shut down, leaving passengers w/ no choice but to book elsewhere. That’s just one of the stories I’ll have this morning #MorningsOn1 @NY1 pic.twitter.com/SCM4WoaRZn— Matt McClure (@mattjmcclure) March 28, 2019
WOW Air now offers an alternative: a do-it-yourself flight pic.twitter.com/N0fLwYRJHh— ♫ Adriano&Paulina ♫ (@keet0007) March 28, 2019
Holy hell RT @ithinkmark: Sooooooooooooooo. Remember I said I had two friends that are in Iceland for like $60 bucks yesterday?— MzBrownShugah (@MzShugah) March 28, 2019
Airline WOW Air goes bust and cancels all flights https://t.co/tIwRnkVaVc
WOW Air has ceased operation and canceled all flights with immediate effect. Wow. Just Wow. Guess the cheap flights to the US stopping in Reykjavik wasn't the most appealing after all.— Edward Leonard (@newedleonard) March 28, 2019
Woah. I know people with flights on @wow_air over the next few months. Seeing people posting in my travel groups saying they're stranded overseas, with no word of refunds or a plan. https://t.co/QDrSqIJ6vK— Deanna Allbrittin (@deannaTVnews) March 28, 2019
Sitting in a crappy motel in Detroit that wowair sent us to. Only for their vouchers not to work. Thankfully they let us stay for free anyway. Trying to sort out affordable flights to Dublin— Barrai Omuireagain (@BOmuireagain) March 28, 2019