- WOW Air is an airline known for its rock-bottom economy class ticket prices.
- Now the Icelandic low-cost carrier is entering the business class market with WOW premium.
- The airline is expecting to offer trans-Atlantic fares for half the price of traditional business class tickets.
- WOW premium offers large seats with 37 inches of pitch, in-flight meals, and priority boarding.
Since 2011, WOW Air has made a name for itself with travellers, not only for its bright fuschia planes but also for its insanely low fares. After all, it’s hard not to notice $US55 flights from the US to Europe.
On Friday, the Icelandic ultra-low-cost carrier announced that it is taking on the world of business class travel.
“Over the last few years, economy seats have become more and more affordable and we’d like to think we played a part in that,” WOW Air founder and CEO Skuli Morgensen said in an interview with Business Insider.
“However, at the same time, prices in the premium or business class cabin have gone up.”
As a result, Mogensen believes there is room in the trans-Atlantic market for a disruptive force to come in and bridge the price gap between traditional business class and low-cost air travel.
“We think there’s a great opportunity to offer a very compelling product for half the price or less to many of our destinations,” Mogensen added.
The airline’s new business class, called WOW premium, features an extra large seat with 37 inches of pitch, two checked bags, one carry-on, one personal item, cancellation protection, fast-track security through Reykjavik Airport, priority boarding, an in-flight meal, and no change fee.
For most business class travellers, it becomes very apparent that WOW Air isn’t as plush as a traditional business class cabin. However, that’s by design and it’s also a major upgrade over WOW’s pay-for-your-own-water economy class.
“It’s a matter of price point,” the WOW Air CEO explained. “We’re not going after the full-lie-flat bed premium business traveller who’s mostly spending someone else’s money and therefore can spend $US5,000 for a one-way trip across the Atlantic.”
Instead, Mogensen’s airline is going after the small business owner and the entrepreneur who wants business class comfort but doesn’t have a bottomless corporate travel budget.
WOW Air is retrofitting its existing fleet of 20 new Airbus A320, A321, and A330 airliners with business class. Mogensen expects all of its routes to have WOW premium seating by the end of the year.
The A320s will have four business class seats while the larger A321s will have eight. The wide-body A330s, which are used for the airline’s ultra-long-haul routes, will have up to 42 premium seats.
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