LONDON – Last week saw a press conference was held in Iceland regarding WOW Air’s future.
A company called USAerospace, which is run by Michele Ballarin, has successfully bought WOW Air’s assets and plans to relaunch the airline in October 2019.
According to the press conference, following the relaunch of flights in October 2019, the airline will begin with two aircraft and slowly expand their fleet by Summer 2020.
For the long term, it plans to have 10 – 12 aircraft which should then help the carrier maintain a sustainable business and bring more tourism back to Iceland.
The first route is due to be from the countries capital Keflavik, Iceland to Washington, United States, interestingly starting during the peak transatlantic season.
USAerospace has confirmed that it will maintain WOW Air’s branding as they still feel it is a strong brand that hasn’t been tarnished following the original airline’s collapse, with people saying that “they miss flying WOW.”
WOW Air will initially restart using a U.S. Air Operators Certificate (AOC) with their headquarters being at Washington Dulles airport, but they do plan to eventually obtain an Iceland AOC.
So far USAerospace has committed to initially investing $85 million into restarting the WOW Air brand.
The original WOW Air airline ceased operations on 28th March 2019 after filing for bankruptcy.
At the time the airline had a total of 10 aircraft after returning its three Airbus A330-300 aircraft back to their lessors and having four Airbus A330-900neo’s on order.
With WOW Air’s return not expected to be this quickly, it is a good sign that there are investors who are willing to ride out the collapse and attempt to bring the airline back to profitability.
It has not been mentioned how this will be the case, but no doubt, more cost-cutting will be needed on this front in order to first of all break-even and see what sort of money can be spent on investment.
This would include the closure of more routes, consolidation of successful routes, and returning expensive aircraft back to lessors or manufacturers.
It is also noticeable that only the one route announcement has been made, and will probably be the only announcement made for a while, as the growth cannot be exponential, not in this current climate.
Long-term plans featuring that sort of a number of aircraft will be relatively safe to have due to success chances being more likely in that front.
While it is still early days, it is very nice to see a carrier return back into the skies, especially with a brand so purple and hard to miss in the skies.