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WOW Air Sends Rescue Flights After Planes Repossessed In Montreal And Cuba

By Victoria M. Walker

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The future of WOW Air looks bleak.

Icelandair, Iceland’s flag carrier airline, has backed out of a deal to save the troubled WOW Air — for the second time.

According to a statement from Icelandair on March 24, the carrier says it “has decided that its possible involvement in WOW air’s operations, as announced on 20 March 2019, will not materialize. Therefore, all discussions between the parties have ended.”

Icelandair entered into discussions to acquire WOW in November 2018, but that didn’t work out either.

Now, according to reports, its fleet of Airbus A321 planes is taking a hit. According to the International Network Flight blog, the airline sent rescue planes to Cuba and Montreal after two planes were repossessed.

RELATED: What Basic Economy Travel Means On WOW Air


WOW launched in 2011 as an ultra low-cost carrier that offered long-haul flights between the U.S. and Europe. The airline had over 400,000 passengers in 2013, and grew to 3.5 million by 2018, according to the airline. The airline is perhaps best known for the “WOW stopover,” which gives travelers the option to spend time in Iceland while traveling Europe and North America.

Despite its growth, WOW has not been without criticism from customers. The airline charges passengers for carry-on luggage and checked bags. Snacks are also available for purchase onboard. One TripAdvisor reviewer called the airline, “Worst Of the Worst!” while another said, “If I could give them 0 stars I would.”

More recently, the airline has started cuts to some of its transatlantic routes. Chicago O’Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Pittsburgh and San Francisco were all cut as the airline struggles to recover from “strategic mistakes,” WOW’s founder and CEO Skúli Mogensetold USA TODAY in January. The airline also axed service from Reykjavik to New Delhi in January.

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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