Earlier today WOW Air formally ceased operations. The people I feel worst for are the employees who lost their jobs as a result of this. There were a lot of people working hard to make the airline great, it’s just too bad they were let down by their management team.
However, I sure feel like WOW Air pilots might be misdirecting their anger here.
WOW Air pilots want journalists investigated
The Reykjavik Grapevine is reporting that WOW Air’s pilots union, the Icelandic Pilots Union, is demanding that the Icelandic Journalist Union investigate the coverage of WOW Air’s financial hardships. Specifically, they want it investigated whether journalists were being given favors or special rewards from other airlines in exchange for the negative coverage of WOW Air.
The chairman of journalists union responded to these allegations as follows:
“I understand that WOW Air employees are worried about their jobs, but to attribute part of the company’s operational difficulties to the reporting of journalists is like going to a goat house in search of wool.”
WOW Air has benefited hugely from positive coverage
I’d say WOW Air benefited hugely from positive media coverage over the years. For one, the airline has offered comped trips to media, so it’s ironic that they’re asking if competitors have done the same.
More importantly, though, for years I saw tons of positive coverage about WOW Air. Heck, I’ve written about their new routes constantly given their great fares (with the caveat that they were an ultra low cost carrier, and charge for everything).
That doesn’t change that the airline became a mess
But there’s no denying that over the past six months this airline has turned into a basket case. The airline has never been profitable, and while I guess their plan was to be acquired, I think they overplayed their hand and waited too long, because last year we reached a point where European airlines started struggling to get financing, given that several airlines collapsed.
Furthermore, starting around six months ago, the carrier’s operations took a nosedive, and they lost the trust of the public. The airline started to cancel and add routes sporadically, and lost the operational reliability they had. Then they quickly entered the India market and pulled out, got rid of their A330s, and desperately started looking for financing.
Sorry, pilots, I feel awful you lost your jobs, but blame Skuli for this…
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)