The New WOW Air Will Now Be A Cargo Airline?!

Filed Under: WOW Air

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.

Bottom Line

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)

  1. I hope they can make it work. There is a very real need of additional cargo options out of Iceland. Icelandair basically has a monopoly on cargo out of Iceland and have been increasing rates since WOW went belly up. We sure miss the A330 flying to SFO.

  2. “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,”

    Well, they will bring fresh fish…

  3. Please don’t rely on the Icelandic media. That is the worst sourcs you can have for this matter. Don’t you see that? or does this just suit your purpose to mirroring the icelandic media for this matter? If you look closely on this scources that’s all based on speculation from politicians, not Mrs. Ballarin herself….

  4. I think we can stop calling Ms. Ballarin a “businesswoman”. At no point during any of this debacle has she actually performed in the capacity of a businessperson aside from purportedly having the finances to purchase a defunct airline’s assets. And even that is suspect.

  5. Surprise surprise that nothing goes as planned, with that weirdo woman in charge of the company now

  6. Darn, my investment isn’t at all what I thought. I thought airlines were supposed to be easy 🙁

    Now I’ve got to figure out how to recoup some of this cash…

  7. In all honesty… She was talking about passenger experience, not people experience. Thus, passengers being fish, guess they will get lounge access too….. 😉

  8. @Julian Casefore

    “If you look closely on this scources that’s all based on speculation from politicians, not Mrs. Ballarin herself….”

    Mrs. Ballarin appears to be engaging a whole lot of “speculating” (amongst other things) herself.

  9. With a purchase price of only $400k I wonder if any assets could not be sold off for a gain. Were all the physical assets forfeited in the bankruptcy proceedings?

  10. Waxed boxes of fresh fish strapped into the seats when the belly is full… and you thought the back row, center seats were non rev hell, wait till they start flying real people in those seats LOL

  11. When they announced that they were flying from KEF to IAD, they probably failed to realized that they needed to get slots at both airports. WowAir used to fly from BWI and not IAD

  12. They always planned on running cargo, I don’t understand the confusion and criticism because one is launched before the other?

  13. Wow is actually switching to delivering pizza orders to Nigeria .

    I bid $399,999,99 and just missed buying the assets or I would have sold the story of this nuttiness to you guys behind a paywall.

  14. Perhaps they can follow Baltia’s lead and fly Washington – Oslo – Warsaw which would totally make sense given the WOW name?

  15. I mean, the old WoW air wasn’t much more than a cargo airline for us ugly sacks of mostly water. Are they using the old WoW Air planes and just flying the passenger cabin empty?

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