Clad in distinctive purple, a WOW Airbus A330 lands at San Francisco International Airport in October 2016. (Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, special to USA TODAY)
Icelandic budget carrier WOW Air may be poised to drop more destinations in the U.S. as it faces financial headwinds.
WOW Air is reducing its fleet size, returning four of its planes to their lessors. The news comes amid a reported cash crunch at the carrier that’s become big local news in Iceland.
WOW confirmed to USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky blog that it is sending two Airbus A320 narrowbody jets and two Airbus A330 widebody jets back to their owners.
“This is a part of necessary restructuring of the airline and to ensure maximum utility of its remaining fleet,” Anna Romano, a U.S.-based spokeswoman for the carrier, said in an email to Today in the Sky. “This restructuring will not impact WOW Air’s current plans to fly to India.”
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WOW is set to launch nonstop service on Dec. 11 to New Delhi from its hub near Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik. The route would be WOW’s first destination in India.
But the airline likely will have to make cuts elsewhere as it returns the four planes, which account for one-fifth of WOW’s 20-plane fleet.
The carrier could drop some destinations altogether or choose to pare schedules, flying fewer times per week on certain routes.
Rumors have popped up on some aviation message boards about U.S. routes or cities thought to be on the chopping block.
For now, WOW’s Romano says only that the carrier’s “winter schedule is currently under re-evaluation due to changes in WOW Air’s fleet, but nothing has been finalized.”
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After growing at breakneck speed in the USA during the past few years, WOW has retrenched its U.S. footprint in 2018. It’s already ended service this year to three destinations – Cincinnati, Cleveland and Miami – and will drop another (St. Louis) in January.
There’s also been speculation that WOW would not return to Dallas/Fort Worth and New York JFK in 2019. When asked specifically about those destinations on Oct. 16, WOW spokeswoman Svana Friðriksdóttir told Today in the Sky that no decision had been made about whether the airline would resume flights to fly to those airports in its 2019 summer schedule.
Stay tuned …
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