The airline famous for selling $55 tickets from the US to Europe is laying off more than a 100 workers as its financial woes continue

Flickr/Anna ZverevaWow Air described 2018 as a ‘challenging’ year.

  • The Icelandic, ultra-low-cost airline Wow Air laid off 111 employees on Thursday, the airline said in a press release.
  • The airline added that contractors and short-term employees will not have their contracts renewed.
  • Wow Air described 2018 as a “challenging” year and said it was in the process of “restructuring and simplifying its operations.”
  • The airline now has around 1,000 employees.

The Icelandic, ultra-low-cost airline Wow Air laid off 111 employees on Thursday, the airline said in a press release. The airline added that contractors and short-term employees will not have their contracts renewed.

“WOW air hopes to be able to offer affected employees a future employment opportunity when WOW air starts growing again,” the airline said.

The airline now has around 1,000 employees.


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Wow Air described 2018 as a “challenging” year and said it was in the process of “restructuring and simplifying its operations.” The airline said it would trim its fleet from twenty to eleven aircraft by selling Four Airbus A321 aircraft and potentially returning some aircraft, including all of its Airbus A321s, to lessors. The airline’s fleet will consist of single-aisle Airbus aircraft.

“This is the most difficult day in the history of WOW air. We have dedicated people who have worked hard to make WOW air a reality and it breaks my heart to downsize the company,” Wow Air CEO Skuli Mogensen said in the press release. “However, in order to ensure our future and preserve WOW air in the long run, we unfortunately must take these drastic measures.”

Wow Air will introduce a new flight schedule in January, the airline said, though its December and early-January schedules will not change.

Icelandair, Iceland’s flagship carrier, said in November that it would not follow through on its deal to purchase Wow Air because of unspecified conditions Icelandair said were not likely to be met.

You can read Wow Air’s full press release below:

After a challenging year, WOW air is now restructuring and simplifying its operations to return to its roots as a profitable ultra-low cost airline while discussions with Indigo Partners progress.

WOW air’s fleet will be reduced from twenty to eleven aircraft, all single-aisle Airbus. WOW air is in negotiations with its lessors to return some of its aircraft including all Airbus A330s. Four Airbus A321s are being sold in a transaction that will improve WOW air’s liquidity by more than 10 million USD.

There will no changes in the schedule in December and early January. In January 2019, WOW air will implement a new flight schedule. WOW air will contact passengers affected by these changes.

Considering this smaller operation, a reduction in WOW air’s workforce is unfortunately inevitable. Today, 111 permanent employees were laid off across the airline. Contractors and short term staff will not be renewed for the time being. WOW air hopes to be able to offer affected employees a future employment opportunity when WOW air starts growing again.

“This is the most difficult day in the history of WOW air. We have dedicated people who have worked hard to make WOW air a reality and it breaks my heart to downsize the company. However, in order to ensure our future and preserve WOW air in the long run, we unfortunately must take these drastic measures” says Skuli Mogensen CEO and founder of WOW air.

After this restructuring, about one thousand employees will remain with WOW air.

This information is information that WOW air hf. is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 11:00 GMT on December 13, 2018.

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