Iceland’s Wow airline has stopped flights and says passengers needing to travel should book with other airlines. Its website says: “Wow Air has ceased operation. All Wow Air flights have been cancelled.” The carrier, which had been in funding talks with investors, flew from London Stansted and Gatwick in the UK. It said some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, and it would publish information on those when it becomes available. Wow said passengers covered by various protected booking methods, including booking by credit card or through a European travel agent, should try to get their money back from them. Otherwise it says they could be entitled to some compensation from Wow, “including in accordance with European regulation on Air Passenger Rights”, or, in case of a bankruptcy, claims should be filed to the administrator or liquidator.
Wow was founded in 2011 by chief executive, Skuli Mogensen. It started flights in 2012 and grew to employ 1,000 people, carrying 3.5 million passengers last year in its 11 aircraft. It operated both short and long haul routes, flying to Copenhagen and Alicante in Europe and Washington and Boston in the US. A number of airlines have run into financial trouble recently. Earlier this year, Germany’s Germania filed for bankruptcy. Low-cost carrier Norwegian underwent a major fund raising, blaming rising fuel prices and currency fluctuations for its troubles. The UK’s struggling Flybe was taken over earlier this month for just one penny a share. Even giant budget airline Ryanair reported its first quarterly loss since March 2014 last month.