Icelandic airline WOW will launch directs flights between Keflavík International Airport and Los Angeles and San Francisco in the summer of 2016. This will be the first time an Icelandic airline offers direct scheduled flights to Los Angeles.
The carrier will offer four weekly round-trips to Los Angeles and five round-trips to San Francisco, with connections to 18 destinations in Scandinavia, the U.K. and Continental Europe via Keflavík International Aiport in Iceland. WOW already offers direct flights to 3 destinations in North America: Boston, Washington and Montreal.
WOW is a low-cost airline that was founded in November 2011 and began its flight service in May 2012. The airline has grown rapidly and it’s estimated that 800,000 passengers will fly with WOW air in 2015 and double that in 2016.
WOW will use Airbus A330-300 planes for the long flight to the USA’s west coast. Their range is 11,300 km (6,100 mi). The distance between Keflavík Airport and San Francisco is 6.764 km (4.203 mi), and to Los Angeles it’s 6.940 km (4.312 mi).
The Airbus will be the largest plane used for scheduled flights by an Icelandic airline. It’s 63.69 m (208 ft 11 in) long and can carry up to 440 in an all-economy layout. WOW planes will be equipped with 340 seats, for added legroom and comfort, according to the airline’s founder and CEO, Skúli Mogensen.
WOW will start selling tickets to Los Angeles and San Francisco early 2016.
An Icelandic low-cost carrier is out to create some turbulence in the Canadian market with plans to offer deeply discounted fares on transatlantic flights out of Toronto and Montreal.
WOW air, founded by serial entrepreneur Skuli Mogensen, is launching two new routes from Montreal and Toronto to the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, starting at $99 one-way.
The upstart airline is the latest Europe-based company to offer low-cost fares on long-haul routes across the Atlantic as the continent’s budget carriers extend their territory outside home base.
WOW, founded by Mr. Mogensen in 2011, says it has already had success with the launch in early 2015 of transatlantic services from Boston and Washington, D.C.
There is ample room for low-cost entrants in the transatlantic space, Mr. Mogensen said in an interview Thursday.
“Transatlantic is really ruled by a handful of very large legacy carriers with their alliances and cartels,” he said. “They will will not give it up freely. They just don’t have the structure and strategies to allow them to compete against pure play, low-cost carriers.”
WOW’s flights out of Toronto’s Pearson airport and Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport are set to begin next May.
The catch is that passengers wanting to go on to other cities such as London or Paris will have to wait “about an hour” in Reykjavik and pay an additional $149 one-way for an additional flight to their final destination.
Asked about the pricing structure, Mr. Mogensen said the $99 fare “depends on the season, on the load.”
“If you’re flexible on departure dates and book in advance you should always be able to find cheap fares. $99 or below $200 should always be available in any given week,” he said.
“When we announced our U.S. routes last year, we promised that it was just the beginning of our growth into North America,” said Mr. Mogensen, who spent several years in Montreal as head of tech company OZ Communications Inc., which was eventually sold to Nokia.
“These great Canadian cities [Toronto and Montreal] will become our newest destinations but I look forward to announcing even more in the not-too-distant future.”
The Canada-to-Iceland routes will use WOW’s existing fleet of new Airbus A321s, seating 200, while A320s will serve on the flights from Reykjavik to London, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Dublin.
Both Montreal and Toronto services are to be year-round, with departures four times a week, the company said Thursday.
Passengers will be allowed one “free” carry-on bag, but it must weigh no more than 5 kilograms. There are extra fees for additional carry-ons, checked bags, in-flight meals and other items.
The Globe And Mail
WOW Air, Iceland’s low-cost airline will begin service to Toronto next summer for the first time with four flights per week to be operated by their new Airbus A321 aircraft. WOW will offer connections at Keflavik to various European points. The new service is set to begin May 16th with flights arriving in Toronto from KEF at 1720hrs and departing eastbound at 1930hrs. Days of operation will be Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun in each direction.
Canadian Aviation News