WOW Air Assets Were Bought For Only ~400K USD

This whole WOW Air saga just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

How Much Was Paid For WOW Air’s Assets

WOW Air ceased operations this March, though the airline is allegedly relaunching in October. The person behind this is an American businesswoman, Michele Ballarin, who is otherwise best known for negotiating with pirates and warlords.

For a while this deal had apparently been called off over failure to pay the purchase price. The purchase price for WOW Air’s assets was reported to be around 1.5 million USD at the time.

The deal did end up happening, though it’s now being reported that the actual purchase price was much lower than that. Icelandic media is reporting that WOW Air’s assets were purchased for 50 million ISK, or about 404K USD. That’s less than a third of what the initial price was believed to be.

What’s The Plan For Wow Air 2.0?

The relaunch of WOW Air almost sounds like a cross of Global Ghana Airlines and Baltia. However, I do believe this is legitimate, as the company has committed 85 million USD to the relaunch of this airline, and Ballarin is also an established businesswoman.

WOW Air made some huge mistakes, though what’s bizarre is what Ballarin sees as the focus of the new airline. Not only are they not learning from the former WOW Air’s mistakes, but I actually don’t at all understand their plan:

  • The airline will offer service only between the US and Iceland initially, and there won’t be connecting service to Europe beyond that (there’s little tourism to Iceland in the winter, and that’s something that Icelandair has well covered)
  • They will have a lounge for all passengers (I’m not sure how this fits into an ultra low cost carrier’s business model)
  • They’re working with a three star Michelin chef to bring better nutrition onboard in order to make flying fun again (ummm…)
  • They’ll use biometric data to board planes in eight minutes (that’s great, but what does that have to do with the success of the airline?)

If you want to see the full plans for the airline, here’s a video of the press conference:

Bottom Line

I remain absolutely fascinated by the relaunch of WOW Air. Allegedly we should see the first flight take off within the coming weeks. To my knowledge they haven’t yet secured a plane, and also haven’t requested permission with the DOT to launch this route.

Do you think WOW Air 2.0 will actually launch operations in 2019?

(Tip of the hat to BHill)

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