WOW Air Cancels Flights To LAX, SFO, YVR, And DEL

Filed Under: WOW Air

At this point there’s very little left of WOW Air.

WOW Air’s route cuts so far

Recently WOW Air announced significant cuts to their US route network, as they were canceling flights to Cincinnati, Cleveland, and St. Louis, just months after launching them. On top of that the airline has canceled flights to Dallas Fort Worth and New York JFK.

Then a couple of weeks ago WOW Air quietly added further US route cuts:

  • WOW Air will discontinue 3x weekly flights to Pittsburgh as of January 11, 2018
  • WOW Air was originally supposed to operate 3x weekly flights to Orlando between December 2018 and April 2019; now the airline will just operate flights from December 18, 2018, through January 8, 2019, and from April 1 through April 30, 2019
  • WOW Air will reduce frequencies to Los Angeles to once weekly in January 2019, and will discontinue the flight completely between January 28 and April 2, 2019

Then as of a couple of days ago they canceled flights to Chicago for this spring.

WOW Air cancels LAX, SFO, YVR, and DEL

Now WOW Air has revealed more route cuts:

  • WOW Air was supposed to resume flights between Iceland and San Francisco as of May 6, 2019; that flight has been canceled
  • WOW Air was supposed to resume flights between Iceland and Los Angeles as of April 2, 2019; that flight has been canceled
  • WOW Air was supposed to launch flights between Iceland and Vancouver as of June 6, 2019; that flight has been canceled
  • WOW Air has stopped accepting reservations on their brand new flight between Iceland and New Delhi between January 19 and May 7, 2019

At least some of these cancelations are presumably motivated by their A330 situation. The airline had three A330s, but they’ve had to return two of them to their leasing company. The airline was then supposed to get some A330-900neo aircraft, but I’m guessing the financing for that may have fallen through.

While that’s the case for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New Delhi, the Vancouver route was scheduled to be operated by A321s all along.

But hey, if you want to book WOW Air, at least they’re selling tickets for 50% off now. 😉

Bottom line

This airline has gone from “wow, what an innovative ultra low cost carrier” to “wow, what a mess” in a very short period.

At the beginning of November it looked like Icelandair would acquire WOW Air, though that deal ended up falling through. Now it looks like WOW Air may have just found a new investor, though that still hasn’t been finalized.

Frankly at this point I’d be surprised if it did happen. It’s one thing to be in a tough financial spot, but I think WOW Air’s unreliability has done horrible damage to their reputation, and even with a cash infusion I’m not sure how much that could be fixed.

As I’ve been saying for a few weeks now, I wouldn’t feel comfortable booking a trip on WOW Air, simply because I wouldn’t actually trust the route to operate as scheduled.

(Tip of the hat to @airlineroute)

  1. I assume these cuts are because of their issues with the A330- they probably can’t get credit to acquire any more, so they are cutting all routes which require that plane.

    There’s no way they can last past January 15, is there? The cuts of the West Coast routes in particular have to be so painful to their network, as the quick one-stop option to Europe was a significant competitive advantage, as the non-stop options to Europe are much more limited than from the US/Canada East Coast. There have to be accompanying route cuts on the Europe side also if they are losing all that feed.

  2. @DCJoe
    This may seem unrealistic, but YVR-KEF is only 10 miles longer than MCO-KEF, so it can easily be flown to with an a321

  3. That’s too bad for Los Angeles. Looking at the numbers for Jan to Oct 2018, WOW flew 138,229 passengers between the two airports, leading me to think the passenger load factor was pretty high. The demand is there, so hopefully this route returns someday (even if not WOW).

  4. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable booking a trip on WOW Air, simply because I wouldn’t actually trust the route to operate as scheduled.”

    Come on. When would you ever have felt “comfortable” booking on this airline regardless of the chances the flight would go or not?

    If it’s not something highly relevant to readers, like business class on Air Ubangi, you couldn’t care less.

  5. @Lucky
    Did you miss the press release that came out yesterday stating that WOW would cut their fleet to just 11 Aircraft? They are returting their only A330 and selling some A321s. Their new fleet will consist of just 10 A231s and 1 A320.

    What an unbelievably fast mega expansion and fall!

  6. Archer528 makes note of the load factors. Now, I’m curious: is there a web site (or sites) for such data, or does one read the airline’s reports?

    Thank you!

  7. I can’t honestly see what Indigo sees in this at all… I was slightly confused when they stepped in in the first place. However now, as you point out, the WOW reputation is in tatters at least in the US, I can’t imagine how they resurrect this brand.

    Or is this some play for an operating certificate, and they essentially just start a new airline with a new brand?

  8. @Adil

    It’s dependent on airport, and luckily, LAX publishes a lot of statistics on their site. For routes flown by one airline, with the route being the only route flown by that airline, you can determine the exact passenger count per route. Otherwise, you can’t (for example, AA is not broken down per route, so you have no idea how many passengers AA is flying between LAX and HKG and cannot make a LAX-HKG determination). Below is the link. Now go and geek out 🙂

  9. Shame. Someone tried and failed. Reported elsewhere, too. But what has this got to do with mileage accrual, mileage redemption, credit card deals and upgrade voucher opportunities? Perhaps someone may have used them to position into cities to pick up bargains, but I doubt it. Learned commentary on airline financial performance I can get from other sites.
    Stick to telling us about the horizontal-ness of seats and obsequiousness or otherwise of airline staff, and where to get the steal of a deal.

  10. My return flight on WOW from Berlin to Los Angeles is scheduled for January 30th. One article that I read stated the LA route will be discontinued on January 14th. I was actually hoping to reschedule my return flight to late February, but there’s not a single flight shown on WOW’s website for that month.

    The rental agency for my apartment needed to know by Friday whether I would extend through February. Told them that I don’t know yet and they are giving me until Monday to decide.

    If my flight is cancelled, I believe they would need to refund the unused portion of the ticket since they are an “EU based” carrier? When I called a few days ago, they said the Jan 30th flight is still scheduled.

    If they refund me, I could get another flight on Norwegian Air in February. But I’ll probably lose my apartment by the time they announce anything. Big mess indeed!

  11. What a disaster !! I booked my returned flight on WOW, (Mistake, Huge!) two days before my trip they cancelled my DEL to KEF Leg and couldn’t put me on a reasonable schedule ! Non existent Customer Service and big disappointment. – stay away from this donkey ride.

  12. I have an update since my last comment: I received an email from WOW stating that my flight to Los Angeles has been cancelled, and to select from three options: 1) Reschedule to another route, 2) get future flight credit on WOW with 25% bonus credit, or 3) get a full refund.

    I picked “full refund” from the drop-down list and replied. Then a few days later, I received another email stating that they have received a large volume of emails, and asking the same question. So I replied with my choice (as text, no drop-down boxes) and also asked for the flight reschedule fee to be refunded as well, since the flight to which I rescheduled is now cancelled.

    I booked another flight in late February on Norwegian Air, but have read that they will be cutting some routes. So fingers crossed with Norwegian. Their hand luggage policy is less generous than WOW’s was, as the total weight of the personal item and one piece of hand luggage cannot exceed what each piece could weigh individually on WOW. But they didn’t charge for hand luggage, at least.

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