Wow Air: Icelandic airline collapses after failure of investor talks

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Wow Air has become the latest airline to go under after it failed secure funding from investors just over a week since the low-cost carrier saw two negotiations with potential partners fall through.

The Iceland-based airline gave a brief statement which said: “Wow Air has ceased operation. All Wow Air flights have been cancelled.” It also urged passengers affected to re-book with other airlines.

Wow Air grounded all its aircraft – Airbus A320s – this morning after months of talks with prospective financial backers. Late last year, Wow returned four aircraft to lessors and revealed it was seeking urgent funding to keep it afloat.

On Tuesday (26 March) the carrier said its bondholders have approved the conversion of their debt to equity only days after two potential investors pulled out of talks.

Icelandair Group ended discussions on 24 March over a potential merger with the low-cost carrier after entering talks with Wow Air on 20 March while another potential investor Indigo Partners pulled out of investment negotiations on 19 March.

Wow announced in November last year that it was originally in talks with Icelandair Group over merging which then broke down as pre-conditions for a shareholders’ meeting on the acquisition were not met.

Wow Air is the latest in a string of airlines to fail over the past two years – as oil prices have risen sharply in a competitively-priced market – and this year has already seen the demise of flybmi and Germania, adding to Primera Air, VLM Airlines, Small Planet Airlines, Sky Works, and Cobalt Air who have also ceased operations in the last seven months.