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We Are Back: Iceland’s Defunct Wow Air to Rise From the Ashes

We Are Back: Iceland’s Defunct Wow Air to Rise From the Ashes
Jeff Edwards

A team formed from the former leadership of now-defunct Wow Air are reportedly exploring a way to restart the Reykjavik-based budget carrier under a new name. The reborn transatlantic airline (currently without a name) is expected to initially serve destinations in both Europe and North America when it launches next fall.

The management behind Wow Air say they don’t have a name in mind yet for their latest venture. In the meantime, Arnar Már Magnússon and Sveinn Ingi Steinþórsson are tentatively calling their planned new Reykjavík–Keflavík Airport (KEF) based budget airline We Are Back or WAB Air for short. The pair might consider the moniker Phoenix Airline because it appears that the new low-cost-carrier will be expected to rise from the ashes of bankrupt Wow Airlines.

According to the Iceland Review, Wow Air founder and the public face of failed Wow Air will not be involved in the new company. Magnússon was the the head of Wow Air’s operations and Steinþórsson was the airline’s economic department director. The proposed new carrier will be primarily owned by the Irish investment firm Avianta Capital which is owned be Aislinn Whittley-Ryan, whose family own a large stake of Ryanair. The former Wow executives will maintain a stake in the newly created KEF-based airline and are expected to handle the day-to-day operations.

The sudden collapse of Wow Air in March of this year had a lasting impact on the Icelandic economy. In many ways, the island nation is still attempting to recover from the shock waves resulting from the budget carrier abruptly shuttering its doors.

“It’s not often that an entire economy is thrown off course by a single corporate event,” Airline industry analyst Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir said of the airline’s collapse and resulting economic downturn. “But that’s what appears to have happened in Iceland.”

Plans call for the new airline to launch in the Fall of 2020. DAB Air intends to hire approximately 500 new employees for the unnamed airline which will serve many destinations in Europe and U.S. formerly served by Wow Air. The new airline is projected the have revenue of $157 million based on an initial 6 aircraft and a route map including 14 airports on both sides of the Atlantic.


[Featured Image: Wow Air]

View Comments (3)


  1. rjpjr

    July 15, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    WOW was wonderful. Cost from BWI to many European destinations was at least a couple hundred $ less than on main line carriers, and it included a decent seat – equivalent to domestic first if you threw an additional $100 into the ticket.. Flew them a half-dozen times and always had a good experience Looking forward to v2.

  2. Auto Enthusiast

    July 15, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Same leadership, presumably same result.

  3. alangore


    July 15, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    No airline that has ever left thousands of paid passengers stranded in the middle of a vacation season is going to come back form the dead. That would require pax trusting it again.

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