WOW Air‘s relaunch is delayed, but it’s now being reported that the new carrier will be flying within weeks. The catch is that they’ll be transporting freight rather than people.
The Basics Of WOW Air 2.0
WOW Air ceased operations this March, though the airline is making a comeback. The person behind this is an American businesswoman, Michele Ballarin, who is otherwise best known for negotiating with pirates and warlords.
She purchased WOW Air’s assets, though for a while the deal had been called off over failure to pay the purchase price. The purchase price for WOW Air’s assets was reported to be around $1.5 million at the time, though then it ended up being only a bit over $400K.
Initially the plan was for WOW Air to relaunch in October, though that had been pushed back. With the plan learned about a couple of weeks ago, tickets were supposed to go on sale as of November, and the airline was supposed to start flying as of December.
WOW Air Has A New Business Plan
Icelandic media is reporting that Michele Ballarin was in Iceland this past weekend to continue the process of launching the airline, and the plan is to launch operations within a few weeks.
The catch is that the airline now initially plans to exclusively transport freight between Keflavik and Washington, focusing on fish over people. The airline still eventually plans on operating passenger service, but for now is focusing on cargo.
How bizarre. It’s especially ironic, because throughout the launch of this airline, Ballarin’s primary focus has been talking about how great the passenger experience will be on WOW Air, from a lounge for all passengers, to working with a Michelin chef to bring better nutrition on planes, to using biometric data to board.
After all of that they’re choosing to launch a freight carrier rather than a passenger airline?
It’s also not yet clear if they plan on picking up some freight specific planes, or how exactly they plan on facilitating all of this.
The WOW Air situation just keeps getting stranger. Now the plan is for WOW Air to initially launch as a cargo airline, but don’t worry, eventually they’ll still fly passengers… apparently?
Am I the only one getting slight Baltia vibes here? It reminds me a bit of when Baltia changed their business model from operating 747s between New York and Russia, to instead operating a regional airline between BALtimore, Trenton, Islip, and Albany.
(Tip of the hat to Abraham)