Reykjavik-based Wow Air has confirmed that rival carrier Icelandair has abandoned plans to acquire the carrier, only a few weeks after the purchase agreement was signed on November 5.

Faced with financial problems Wow Air has also returned four of its aircraft to the lessors.

The four aircraft comprise two Airbus A320s and two Airbus A330s.

In a statement Wow Air says “This is part of necessary restructuring of the airline and to ensure maximum utility of its remaining fleet. This restructuring will not impact Wow Air’s current plans to fly to India.”

But low-cost carriers operate a tight ship anyway. Can Wow Air afford to lose four aircraft and especially the A330s which operate the carrier’s longest routes?

Delhi-based airline analyst Vinamra Longrani is optimistic that his city will see Wow Air service next month.

He told Business Traveller, “Wow will do what it takes to tide over the crisis. Schedules will be amended and routes cut back / suspended.  It’s a  challenge which only time will tell whether or they overcome it.”

In North America analysts are already saying that more US routes will be cut back in the coming months.

Although not yet officially confirmed, it’s rumoured that:

  • Pittsburgh will be discontinued in January
  • Los Angeles’ flight frequency will be cut back from January
  • Orlando may also face some service cuts

Wow Air is a hub airline which, like all sixth-freedom carriers, exists primarily to carry passengers via (rather than to/from) its base.

In particular the rationale behind starting a route to Delhi was to tap the voluminous market transferring between India, North America and vice versa.

But any hub is only as good as its spokes. Wow Air has been contacted for further comment.