WOW Air is making a comeback, except that comeback is now delayed, and I am just so confused by what’s going on.
The Basics Of WOW Air 2.0
WOW Air ceased operations this March, though the airline is allegedly 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 has now been pushed back… unsurprisingly.
The Bizarre Plan For WOW Air’s Relaunch
I just have no clue what to make of this operation. If it weren’t for the people behind this, I’d say the airline sounds like a cross between Global Ghana Airlines and Baltia. But the people behind this are legitimate entrepreneurs, and they’ve allegedly pledged 85 million USD to the relaunch of the airline (though I’m starting to question that).
WOW Air made some huge mistakes, though what’s bizarre is what Ballarin sees as the focus of the new airline. Not only are they not learning from the former WOW Air’s mistakes, but I actually don’t at all understand their plan:
- The airline will offer service only between the US and Iceland initially, and there won’t be connecting service to Europe beyond that (there’s little tourism to Iceland in the winter, and that’s something that Icelandair has well covered)
- They will have a lounge for all passengers (I’m not sure how this fits into an ultra low cost carrier’s business model)
- They’re working with a three star Michelin chef to bring better nutrition onboard in order to make flying fun again (ummm…)
- They’ll use biometric data to board planes in eight minutes (that’s great, but what does that have to do with the success of the airline?)
If you want to see the full plans for the airline, here’s a video of the press conference from a couple of months ago:
WOW Air’s Relaunch Is Delayed
FlightGlobal is reporting that WOW Air has now delayed their relaunch. The airline was supposed to make a return in October. Now the plan is for tickets to go on sale in November, and for the airline to start flying in December.
I mean… seriously? There literally couldn’t be a worse time of year to launch flights exclusively between the US and Iceland.
The reason for the delayed relaunch? There are a bunch of new planes on the market (due to airline bankruptcies), and they want to take that opportunity to get a deal on planes and configure them as needed. That’s fair enough.
As Ballarin explains in a statement:
“Wow Air intends to be fully operational in December with ticket sales hitting the market in November. Significant market adjustments have taken place since the announcement of the re-launch of Wow Air. This contraction of air carriers has provided an increase in aircraft inventory previously not available in the late summer. Wow Air will take this opportunity to acquire and reconfigure our launch aircraft in the best interests of our customers and shareholders.”
So, how’s their progress in working with Dulles Airport? After all, this is the airport from which they want to launch their first flight, and they even want to open a lounge there for all passengers.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority states they had a meeting in August with the new investors, but haven’t heard from them since.
I am so confused by what’s going on with the relaunch of WOW Air. You have some legitimately rich people behind this relaunch who have some experience in the airline industry, but none of this makes any sense whatsoever.
Under any other circumstance I’d assume this wasn’t a serious concept, but you do have legitimate investors here who paid at least a few hundred thousand dollars for WOW Air’s assets.
Still, I sort of don’t believe this is real and the airline will ever launch. Because, you know, it doesn’t many any sense whatsoever. They want to launch service from Washington Dulles in a couple of months, but haven’t had conversations with the airport beyond their initial talks? Hmmm…
Do you think WOW Air 2.0 will ever happen?
Are they negotiating now for planes a month before launch? How long does it take to reconfigure and repaint planes? I really don't know, is it possible to do it by December?
But don't forget the free water!
What will happen first. The max gluing again is wow air?
Is there a reason why you have both a recap section and an index on articles that only take 2 minutes to read? It seems very unnecessary!
Michele Ballarin reminds me Jo Bennett of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company! :)))
Word is that One Caribbean just returned their 747 to the desert.
She is picking up hard assets and operating certificate at fire sale prices. That is a good thing.
The rest of the business plan is questionable at best. Perhaps the business scenario is based on “The Producers” scheme.
Iceland seems like a wonderful place to visit once. But no more. Although I still miss Blue Lagoon.
"They’ll use biometric data to board planes in eight minutes" - aside from having nothing to do with making an airline "better", another factor is that while it's all well and good to be able to BOARD a plane in eight minutes, will people be seated in that time? There will simply be a queue at the door and in the aisles.
I'm guessing this lady wants some kind of publicity.
So that’s a no then
Negative publicity is not really a good selling point. Best to stick with an established carrier / proper airline
Wow could start a new global alliance with Baltia and Global Ghana
How are they doing ? Lol
Read my lips.... not gonna happen. Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture.
why would anyone buy Wow without the AOC. That's where the value is.
Nothing about Michele Ballarin makes her seem like a legitimate entrepreneur. And certainly not someone who has the ability to pull off anything that will require tens of millions of dollars. Seems like she's either a scammer or is wildly misguided.
Maybe One Caribbean could join with Wow and Baltia in a new alliance? Can't wait for their credit card...
December sounds like the perfect time to restart flights to Iceland. I’m sure the demand is off the charts for that time of the year. Especially for an airline which screwed hundreds if not thousands. Let me pack my bags. I would rather be stranded no where else in December than Iceland.
Coming back to reality it sounds like wow 2.0 is failing before it ever restarts.
I live in Herndon and fly to Iceland once a month. As you can imagine, this is a very interesting route to me. Please keep us updated.