Posted by: neilh10 | August 11, 2012

update on wow air

update on wow air

I flew to Iceland back in June on Wow Air. It was an uneventful and comfortable flight, the seats were leather and had a lot of legroom, and the safety demonstrations etc were very funny. The flight was also pretty much empty.

Wow air was set up by a disgruntled former CEO of Iceland Express. It is effectively a virtual airline as the actual flights are operated by Avion express, a lithuanian charter airline, albeit with wow air flight attendants etc. The network is virtually identical to Iceland express and the two airlines have fiercely competed with each other, bringing the cost of flying to Iceland down significantly and probably also significantly damaging each others profit margins – although the rise in customers due to the increase in tourism probably means they will both survive, for the time being. 

Anyway, wow air have just slashed their winter timetable. Amongst other destinations they originally planned to fly to London Stansted three times per week. Now their timetable (see attached link) says that they will actually be flying 2 x per week (Friday and Monday) but they are only actually selling tickets for Monday flights, leaving Gatwick at 1pm or thereabouts. 

I dont know what this means if you had booked a flight on one of the flights from Stansted, presumably they will notify you and reschedule or refund your ticket. In the past Iceland Express have had similar tactics of last minute cancellations (for instance at one point they cancelled all flights to New York at the last minute, ceasing to fly to the USA with immediate effect, right in the run up to Christmas). Frankly it is very unprofessional and annoying. 

Overall, it’s worth being a bit cautious about booking tickets on Wow Air, given this development. 

UPDATE

I figured what out what was going on with the mysterious wow air flights: appears that the plane takes off from Reykjavik on Fridays, sits on the tarmac at Gatwick over the weekend, and then returns on Monday. I have absolutely no clue how this can possibly make economic sense, given that they presumably need to pay for the aircrew to stay in a hotel for the weekend (or indeed, fly them home on one of their competitors!).

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Responses

  1. Hmm- why am I not surprised! Also thought it was too good to last when Iceland Express had flights from Stansted to Akureyri for a while. Really, Iceland is always going to be a niche destination.


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