What led to the Demise of purple Livery jets : WOW Air

One of the 5 Airbus A330 of WOW Air mostly used for long-haul Routes

The airlines with all purple livery jets, ceased operations on 28th March 2019, by suspending all routes and declaring bankruptcy. Thereby leaving more than 1000 passengers stranded.

What led to the demise of this Ultra-Low-Cost Icelandic Airline?


The airline was founded in November 2011, by an Icelandic telecom Entrepreneur, Skúli Mogensen, and connected various destinations in Europe, North America, and Asia from Iceland, A Nordic Island Country in North Atlantic.

The airline focused on being an ultra-low-cost carrier, with a fleet of narrow-Body, Airbus A320-Family jets and competing against several airlines in the transatlantic market.

In 2013, the airline had carried over 400,000 passengers and reached its 1 millionth passenger in December 2014.

Moreover, In June 2016, The airline leased 2 Airbus A330–300 planes, Whereby connecting popular US destinations like Los Angeles and San Francisco, followed by Canada, and reaching its 1.6 million passenger mark.

What went wrong?

According to an article by Bloomberg, 8 European Airlines had failed due to rising fuel prices and the challenging environment, The case with WOW airlines was no different.

Being an Ultra-Low-Cost Airline, and competing in the transatlantic market, The airline in 2011 projected to add 15 more destinations in Asia before going bankrupt.

According to Mogenson, the airline had acquired 3 Airbus A330–300 Jets in late 2016, consequently increasing the airlines operating costs and complicating its operations.

For a successful low-cost model Airline to survive, A simple and coherent fleet structure is essential, to prevent hurting the airline’s yield.

Furthermore, the Rise in Fuel price played a vital role in the demise of the airline.

During the first nine months of 2018, The airline losses were doubled to $33.6 million dollars from $13.6 million dollars from the same period in 2017.

Moreover, the airline had also suffered a failed merger with its rival Icelandic Air, leading to laying off 111 employees and a decline of the fleet to 11 planes from 20.

With factors like above, There are bigger reasons why such airlines fall back short, but with WOW Airlines, you could say, They Desired to Gain Big too Fast.

Where is the WOW Air Fleet in 2020

After the 12 Airbus A320 let back to the lessors, the jets are currently active with airlines such as Indigo, Vistara, Spirit Airlines.

Of the 14 Airbus A321, 8 are operating with Air Canada Rouge, 2 are with Onur Air, rest are among Thai Vetjet Air and Condor airlines.

The 5 Airbus A330 used for long haul routes by WOW Air are all in service with Turkish Airlines.

Is Wow Air Coming back

In a way, Yes, the WOW organization did receive an investment of $85 Million by USaerospace Associates but would be cargo based airline.

According to the WOW Air website, a new WOW Air Cargo hub has been established in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Despite, the covid-19 disrupting the aviation market, there is however hope for WOW air to get back to the skies.


Business Insider 2019, Wow Air has shut down. Here’s what went wrong, according to the company’s CEO, Viewed 3rd May 2020



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