Icelandair acquires WOW Air

Photo: © Eric Salard

Icelandair Group has made a purchase agreement to acquire every stake of WOW Air, its largest competitor.

In turn, current shareholders of WOW Air will receive a total of 5.4% of Icelandair Group’s stock.

The Icelandic flag-carrier says it will keep the low-cost airline’s brand identity.

WOW air has in recent years built a strong brand and enjoyed great success in the company‘s markets to and from Iceland and across the Atlantic.. There are many opportunities for synergies with the two companies but they will continue to operate under their own brands and operating approvals. The tourism industry is one of the cornerstones of the Icelandic economy and it is important that flights to and from Iceland will remain frequent.Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair Group

Founder and CEO of WOW Air, Skúli Mogensen, is confident that this takeover will only strengthen WOW’s international competitiveness. “WOW air will become a part of the Icelandair Group as a standalone subsidiary“, the low-cost carrier told International Flight Network.

In the coming days, Icelandair Group will hold a meeting where its shareholders are able to vote on the acquisition.

Icelandair operates a total of 36 Boeing 737 MAX, 757 and 767-300 airplanes, while WOW Air’s fleet consists only of Airbus aircraft (17 A320/A321 and 3 A330-300).

WOW Air, founded in 2011, had struggled due to financial issues, despite constantly growing its market share. The airline recently announced it is suspending five destinations in its United States network.