- The Icelandic budget airline Wow Air abruptly announced it was shutting down on Thursday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
- Two people who worked at Wow Air told Business Insider they enjoyed their time at the airline and were sad to see it go.
- “My heart broke into 100 pieces this morning when I got the news,” said Hildur Hilmarsdottir, who worked as the chief flight attendant for Wow Air up until the shutdown.
The announcement followed debt issues, job cuts, and a failed merger with Icelandair. While Wow Air did not offer an explanation for the timing of its shutdown, CEO Skuli Mogensen told Business Insider in January that he had made a mistake in trying to expand Wow Air’s business model beyond low-cost flights after adding Airbus A330-300 jetliners to its fleet.
“We made our fleet structure unnecessarily complex with the addition of the wide-body A330,” he said at the time. “One of the core essences of the successful low-cost model is to ensure that you maintain a simple and coherent fleet structure because it will very quickly complicate the operations and therefore the costs if you have multiple fleet types.”
Sara Gunnarsdottir, a former Wow Air cabin crew member who worked for the airline up until December, said the airline fostered a positive work environment.
“I am absolutely heartbroken about the company shutting down,” she said. “I was actually very nervous about having to work with new people every time I came to work, but it turned out to be so fun.”
“Not once have I met a Wow staff member who was not extremely nice, open, and welcoming,” Gunnarsdottir said.
Hildur Hilmarsdottir, who worked as the chief flight attendant for Wow Air up until it shut down, echoed Gunnarsdottir’s sentiments.
“My heart broke into 100 pieces this morning when I got the news,” Hilmarsdottir said. “I loved every single flight that I operated, even though it was sometimes a bit of a struggle waking up at 3 a.m. for a morning flight.”
Hilmarsdottir praised Mogensen’s efforts in attempting to keep Wow Air afloat.
“Skuli did an amazing job,” she said. “Skuli and the team fought until the last minute.”
- Read more:
- Videos show chaos and anger in airports as Wow Air passengers discovered the airline had collapsed
- Wow Air shut down and canceled all its flights – here’s how travellers can get their money back
- Hundreds of people are stranded and freaking out after Wow Air collapsed
- Wow Air, the budget airline that offered $US69 flights from the US to Europe, has just collapsed. Here’s what it was like to fly on it.
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