WOW Air ceases operations

Discount airline WOW Air has abruptly ceased operations, leaving thousands of booked passengers for upcoming flights scrambling for options, after failing to line up much-needed new financing.

Iceland-based WOW Air made a splash locally when it launched service from BWI Marshall Airport in Maryland in 2015 with its cheap fares to Iceland and connections to other European destinations.

It was also known for its notoriously high add-on fees.

In a statement on the WOW Air website, the airline advises passengers to “check available flights with other airlines,” for so-called rescue fares, or fares other airlines may offer at a reduced rate.

Passengers who bought tickets with a credit card are also advised to contact the credit card company to see whether a refund will be used.

The statement also says passengers may be entitled to compensation from WOW Air in the case of a bankruptcy.

All 29 of WOW Air’s scheduled flights for Thursday were canceled, affecting at least 2,700 passengers, according to Bloomberg.

“We have run out of time and have unfortunately not been able to secure funding for the company,” Bloomberg quotes chairman Skuli Mogensen saying in a letter to employees. “I will never be able to forgive myself for not taking action sooner.”

WOW Air had operated several weekly flights from BWI Marshall to Reykjavik with connecting service to other destinations, and as recently as last spring had announced plans for further BWI Marshall expansion.

WOW Air operated daily service between BWI and Reykjavik. WOW had almost 166,000 passengers at BWI Marshall in 2018, according to the airport.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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