Wow Air just went bust in yet another blow to the struggling budget airline industry

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  • The budget airline Wow Air on Thursday said it was halting all flights, stranding passengers.
  • The 7-year-old Icelandic carrier, known for its bright purple planes and rock-bottom ticket prices, had been struggling with debt.
  • It’s another blow for a sector that has been hammered in the past few years.

The budget airline Wow Air halted operations Thursday, stranding thousands of passengers and throwing the industry into more doubt after the collapse of peers.

Wow posted the below on its website on Thursday. Read the whole Wow Air statement here.

The 7-year-old Icelandic carrier, known for its bright purple planes and rock-bottom ticket prices, had been struggling with debt. In January, the company announced a staggering offer: one-way flights from the US to Europe for as little as $US49.

A merger with Icelandair, which was said to have valued Wow at anywhere from $US18 million to $US25 million, broke down in November. The airline slashed 111 jobs in December.

Wow Air had also been discussing investment from the private-equity firm Indigo Partners, which owns the budget airlines Frontier Airlines and JetSmart.

It’s another blow for a sector that has been hammered in the past few years. In October, the Nordic budget airline Primera Air went under. A year before, Britain’s Monarch Airlines went bust amid intense competition for flights and a weak currency. Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2017.

“In case of a bankruptcy, claims should be filed to the administrator / liquidator,” Wow told affected passengers on its site.

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