Icelandic discount carrier Wow Air ceased operations Thursday, leaving passengers stranded across its transatlantic network.
“Passengers are advised to check available flights with other airlines,” the carrier’s website says. “Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances. Information on those airlines will be published, when it becomes available.”
Wow Air, the second-largest budget carrier in the transatlantic market, was flying to 13 U.S. destinations just last summer. The grounding comes just days after Indigo Partners walked away from a proposed $75 million capital infusion into the floundering airline and after 11th-hour talks with Icelandair quickly broke down.
Still, Wow had offered optimistic news as recently as Tuesday, when it announced that bondholders had agreed to convert investments into equity as the carrier worked to shore up its balance sheet.
Wow Air’s financial problems had been acute since at least the fall. Wow posted a pre-tax loss of $42 million during the first nine months of 2018 and its deteriorating finances caused it to reduce its fleet from 24 to 11 aircraft in recent months and to eliminate all widebody flying.
Wow had also shrunk its network, including U.S. flying. As of Thursday’s grounding, the carrier flew to just Boston, Newark, Baltimore and Detroit in the U.S.
Wow advised passengers holding unused tickets that they purchased with a credit card to inquire about a refund with their credit card company.
Passengers might also be entitled to compensation from Wow in accordance with European passenger rights regulations. In the case of a bankruptcy filing, such claims should be made with the bankruptcy administrator.