The planned relaunch of Icelandic low-cost carrier Wow Air has been delayed until December, according to a statement provided by the owner of the shuttered airlines' assets, though many questions about the effort's feasibility remain unanswered.
The 8 October statement from Michele Ballarin, chair of Virginia-based USAerospace Associates, does not disclose any information about pending schedules, routes or destinations.
USAerospace, which acquired Wow's assets after the carrier failed in March, did not answer additional emailed questions.
When it announced its plans in September, USAerospace said it would relaunch the airline in October. Lack of transparency around those plans cast doubt on the project.
“Wow Air intends to be fully operational in December with ticket sales hitting the market in November,” says the statement to FlightGlobal. “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.”
In the past few weeks, several low-cost carriers including Thomas Cook, France’s XL Airways and Adria Airways, ceased operations, leading to a stark reshuffling of the vacation-flight market.
USAerospace's statement on 8 October adds that it “intends to place new aircraft orders with our OEM in Q2-2020.”
In early September, USAerospace had reached an agreement to purchase the Wow Air brand, and said it plans to restart operations between Washington Dulles International airport and Keflavik International airport outside of Reykjavik. At the time, the organisation said it plans to operate hubs in both cities and seeks to focus on air cargo in addition to passenger operations.
USAerospace chair Ballarin, who also goes by the name “Michele Roosevelt Edwards”, detailed the return plans during a press conference on 6 September in Reykjavik.
The price of the agreement has not been disclosed, but she said her company had committed $85 million to get the airline back up and running. She also said Wow will begin operations with two aircraft, eventually expanding the fleet to 10 or 12 aircraft.
A spokesperson at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which operates Dulles airport, told FlightGlobal on 8 October that MWAA had an initial meeting with the new investors in August.
She adds that the Authority has heard nothing from the airline since that time and is unable to give further information about potential operations from Washington DC area airports.
Wow had operated 20 aircraft at the end of 2018, but cut its fleet almost in half to improve its financial position before ceasing operations and cancelling all flights on 28 March. The carrier launched in 2012 by operating single-aisle Airbus aircraft and later expanded its fleet with larger A330s.