Iceland’s low-cost carrier, WOW Air, has ceased operations and canceled all flights.
The budget airline made the announcement Thursday, posting a statement to its website that declared the “end of operation of WOW Air.” It advised passengers to book new flights with other airlines that may be offering a reduced rate, “so-called rescue fares,” in light of the news.
WOW added that those who made bookings by credit card or via a European travel agent should try to get their money back through those businesses. It said some passengers may be entitled to compensation from the airline itself.
The news caught passengers by surprise. Travelers in Newark were told their flight was canceled after a four-hour delay. Another passenger who had a flight scheduled for today was not notified by the airline directly, but saw it on Twitter.
@wowairsupport flight WW104 from #EWR was cancelled after a 4 hour delay and they gave us a $12 voucher ???? Pandemonium at the gate. I need a refund + new earliest flight ASAP. @EWRairport pic.twitter.com/4No3qzidAg— Crypto Gumb ???? (@derekGUMB) March 28, 2019
After WOW Air’s planned merger with rival carrier, Icelandair, fell through, a U.S. private equity firm that controls Frontier Airlines and Indigo Partners arranged an agreement in principle to take a stake in the carrier. WOW had taken steps to cut costs, ending service to several U.S. cities, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Miami. WOW had also previously said it would cut one-fifth of its 20-plane fleet, returning the jets to their lessors.
Launching in 2012, WOW Air operated service between Europe, Iceland and the U.S. with fares under $200; and extra charges for seat selection, baggage, leg room and refreshments. But the carrier ran into pitfalls, such as frequent delays and rising customer complaints.