WOW Air cancels several flights following aircraft repossessions

WOW Air's Airbus A321 'TF-DOG' is used to pick up passengers following the repossession of two aircraft. Photo: © Anna Zvereva

Struggling Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW Air has cancelled several Monday flights on short notice, after two aircraft were grounded.

One aircraft has reportedly been grounded in Santa Clara, Cuba. It flew from from there to Miami, Florida, and is since standing on the ground at Miami International Airport (according to data from Flightradar24), with no further information available. Another one is grounded at Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, where it arrived yesterday evening. WOW Air has since sent a ‘rescue aircraft’ to Montreal, to transfer the stranded passengers to Iceland. All involved airplanes are Airbus A321 types.

This grounding comes after lessor of the two aircraft, Bocomm leasing, repossessed the two planes from WOW Air, reportedly over violations of the leasing contracts. Both affected A321-200 are new and were delivered to WOW Air in May 2017.

The groundings and cancellations only add up to WOW Air’s already very bad financial situation. The low-cost carrier is desperately looking for a buyer or investor to save its flight operations. However, recent talks with competitor Icelandair and investment firm Indigo Partners LLC both failed.

In November last year, WOW Air entered a restructuring process. The airline has since suspended several destinations, cut its fleet in half, and reduced its workforce. All three widebody Airbus A330-300 were removed from its fleet, and an order for four A330-900neo was cancelled. Following this repossession, WOW Air’s fleet now only consists of nine Airbus single-aisle aircraft.