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WOW Air

The Re-Launch of WOW Air Is Giving Us Fyre Fest Vibes

The Re-Launch of WOW Air Is Giving Us Fyre Fest Vibes
Taylor Rains

Michele Ballarin, the businesswoman who purchased WOW Air in March of this year for a song, has advertised WOW Air 2 as a luxury airline featuring 5-star culinary meals, airport lounges, and flights scheduled between Reykjavik and Washington Dulles as soon as this month. But, does it? Airport officials and aviation authorities say they are unaware of Ballarin’s imminent plans and skeptical about WOW Air 2’s success.  

Dreams may not become reality for businesswoman and new WOW Air owner, Michele Ballarin. WOW Air ceased operations in March 2019 after hitting financial snags but was bought for $400K by Ballarin who hoped for a speedy re-launch. WOW Air 2 was set to restart operations by the end of October, but experts are expressing doubts.

Ballarin has big plans for the airline, including airport lounges and five-star culinary meals, but she may be getting ahead of herself. Although Ballarin and her associates affirmed the airline would kick-start its new operation with a nonstop from Reykjavik to Washington Dulles this month, the airport claims that despite their conversations with Ballarin in August, no flights have been scheduled for WOW Air out of IAD and no new services have been finalized. It is believed that the new CEO may be unrealistic in her October re-launch goal.

This is not the first time that Ballarin has exaggerated WOW Air’s re-launch. Earlier this year, she boasted that WOW Air would be headquartered at the Washington Dulles Airport, the first European airlines to do so, and stated that the airport was “incredibly excited” about her plans. However, Icelandic publication Turisti reported that Washington aviation authorities are not aware of Ballarin and have not received any contact from her or her associates to discuss the launch or route.

Iceland is not amused by WOW Air’s uncertainty as tourism has dropped significantly since the airline’s collapse. According to CN Traveler, the termination of WOW’s affordable flights, paired with the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft, has led to a 27.5% decrease in available seats. Furthermore, WOW’s demise leftover 400 former staff members unemployed. If it turns out WOW 2.0 falls through, this promotion of a quick re-launch will be disappointing at best.

Ballarin’s exaggeration and unrealistic expectations may push WOW’s re-launch to a later date if there ends up being a re-launch at all.

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. RandyN

    October 9, 2019 at 8:23 am

    It sounds as though Ballarin is being mentored by Elizabeth Holmes.

  2. SkyForce6

    October 9, 2019 at 11:37 am

    The latest message from Ballarin is a December re launch with ticket sales starting in November. They will start with just 2 air planes eventually scaling up to 10 or 12 air planes. The old WOW had 20 planes so it will not be in the same scale as before!

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