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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 April 2019

Wow Air cancels all flights, leaving passengers stranded

Icelandic budget carrier failed to bring in fresh investment

A Wow plane on the tarmac of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport, north of Paris. AFP
A Wow plane on the tarmac of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport, north of Paris. AFP

Wow Air ended operations after failing to reach agreement with investors to pump fresh cash into the Icelandic discount carrier.

In a statement on its website on Thursday, Wow said all flights have been cancelled and advised passengers to check for available flights with other airlines.

“Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances,” the company said. “Information on those airlines will be published, when it becomes available.”

The statement on Wow Air's website
The statement on Wow Air's website

The shutdown comes after last-minute discussions for a cash infusion failed.

Wow said earlier on Thursday it was in the “final stages” of raising new equity from a group of investors, and said it had postponed flights until “documentation with all parties involved have been finalized.”

The company, founded in 2011, had been in talks with several potential rescuers, including larger rival Icelandair. It said this week had reached a deal with its bondholders to convert debt into equity and has reportedly proposed a $160 million turnaround plan.

Wow carried 3.5 million passengers last year. Its crisis triggered cabinet meetings in Iceland, though the government said it wouldn’t use taxpayer money in a rescue.

Passengers took to social media today as they sought alternative travel arrangements after the Wow Air flights were grounded.

The Wow Air statement added that "passengers may also be entitled to compensation from Wow Air, including in accordance with European regulation on Air Passenger Rights. In case of a bankruptcy, claims should be filed to the administrator / liquidator".

Updated: March 28, 2019 01:44 PM

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