Apr 15th, 2019, 09:48 AM

WOW Airlines Goes Bankrupt

By Zakiyyah Job
Airplane in Flight
Airplane In Flight. Credits: Unsplash/ Ross Palmy
Attention student travelers: flying just became much more expensive.

On March 28th, 2019, WOW Airlines, a popular Icelandic airline amongst many European-bound travelers searching for cheap connecting flights, filed for bankruptcy. After many financial mishaps including failing to pay back $300 million to investors. The company, founded in 2011, has been popular with many students and thrifty travelers who opted not to spend a fortune for their air travel. WOW Air has been compared to the likes of Ryan Air, another airline which boasts about making travel affordable for all.  This comes as a blow to price-conscious travelers. Many turn to airlines like WOW air and Ryan Air because they offer prices that are half that of bigger rival airlines such as Air France, Icelandair and Lufthansa. 


This sudden shift has left many passengers dumbfounded. People who have already paid for an upcoming flight will not be issued a refundable ticket. Instead, they are recommended by the former airline to exchange tickets with other airlines for a reduced price. However this will not be applicable to all ticket purchases, and many are still understandably upset. This means hundreds of individuals are stuck having to re-purchase potentially more expensive tickets in a relatively short amount of time. One Twitter user said:

This bankruptcy has an even worse effect for those Icelandic residents. Icelandic resident and frequent flyer of WOW air,  Rósa Björk Helgu Ásmundsdóttir, stated that she was about ready to retire her travel bags for a while, upon hearing of the airline's bankruptcy, "Flights are going to be so expensive. Icelandair can just do whatever they want now. Before WOW Air, Icelandair used to just augment the price according to peak seasons because there was no competition."

Similarly, Vera Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir, Icelandic student from the American University of Paris, "I use WOW air all the time. It's cheap and it gets me everywhere I need to go". When asked why such a popular airline for travelers could go down under so quickly, she stated, "I think they got a little greedy. They've been struggling as well. They bought too many airplanes, couldn't pay back investors."


On April 5th,  C.E.O of the former airline,  Skúli Mogensen, announced his intentions to relaunch operations and find new investors to revive WOW air. He is hoping for an investment of $40 million dollars (35.51 million euro). However, this may simply be wishful thinking for the CEO, as winning back the trust of investors and consumers will be a complicated task.