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Airlines

Wow Air Reportedly Purchased for Less Than the Price of a New Plane

Wow Air Reportedly Purchased for Less Than the Price of a New Plane
Jeff Edwards

The Icelandic airline famous for bargain-basement ticket prices may have offered a final too-good-to-be-true deal months after declaring bankruptcy and stranding hundreds of passengers following an abrupt end to operations. One Mile at a Time reports that the failed carrier’s assets were purchased for just over $400,000.

Ambitious plans to resurrect the defunct ultra-low-cost carrier WOW Air by next month are moving forward and the chief investor behind the plan appears to have obtained the bankrupt airline’s assets for a song. Although, the fact that the Reykjavík–Keflavík International Airport (KEF)-based carrier leased rather than owned its fleet makes the $404,000 price tag much less of a steal than it looks at first glance.

According to One Mile at Time, the deal includes the rights to the bankrupt airline’s somewhat tarnished name, technology infrastructure, uniforms and remaining equipment such as galley carts and signage. In order to relaunch as planned, the reborn carrier will still need regulatory approval and at least one aircraft.

In a video released with detailed plans for the resurrected carrier, lead investor and chair of the new WOW Air, Michele Ballarin said the new carrier will maintain a low-fare business model, but indicated the goal will be to “make flying fun again.” She says this will mean offering a “premium economy experience,” including airline club style lounges for all passengers, working with a Michelin-starred chef to bring “more nutritious food” to flights and using biometric data in lieu of boarding passes.

In addition to stranding hundreds of passengers when WOW Air abruptly ceased operations in March, the sudden bankruptcy put a lingering strain on Iceland’s economy. Analysts say the island nation’s GDP suffered a substantial hit and the country is projected to show signs of a recession as a direct result of the budget carrier’s failure.

Unfortunately, news that purple WOW Air planes will again be taking flight isn’t going to quickly ease these economic wounds-at least initially. The reborn airline plans to only offer service between Iceland and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) at first. An October launch isn’t exactly high season for Icelandic tourism and won’t likely help that segment to rebound in the near future, but the leadership of the new WOW, including a team of former WOW executives, says this low key re-entry into the market suits them just fine.

“You want to open conservatively, quietly, smartly, and have your operational efficiencies worked out during the time when you’re not overrun,” Ballarin told the Washington Post. “I think it’s precisely the right time to do this.”

 

[Featured Image: WOW Air]

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1 Comment

  1. gmt4

    September 23, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    No thanks. If it collapsed once it’ll happen again.

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