Icelandic budget airline Wow Air is to offer connections from London Gatwick to Boston and Baltimore/Washington from next April.
The carrier will mirror the transatlantic routes offered in Reykjavik by Icelandair, which also serves Boston and the main Washington Dulles airport. Wow’s Boston flights start on March 27 and Baltimore/Washington on June 4. Boston will operate daily except on Wednesday while Baltimore/Washington will run on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Wow Air is not really targeting the business traveller with its flights, as its package of extras and some of its timetabling shows. The airline will offer one way fares from an introductory £99 including taxes, although checking in a 20kg bag costs a hefty £39. Passengers will allowed only 5kg of hand luggage and adding another 7kg costs £22.
Boston flights depart Gatwick at 12.20 and arrive in the US at 17.30 with a connection in Iceland of less than an hour. The return leaves at 18.55 and arrives at 10.50, but the connecting time is 2 hours 40 minutes in the middle of the night.
Flights to Baltimore leave Gatwick on the same 12.20 departure and arrive at 17.55, again with a short connection. The return flight departs at 19.25 and has a 90-minute connection in Reykjavik before the 10.50 arrival at Gatwick.
Flights from Iceland to the US will be operated using an Extended Range Airbus A321, with the Gatwick leg on Wow’s existing A320 fleet.
Wow Air chief executive Skúli Mogensen said: “This is just the beginning of our plans to transform low-cost transatlantic flights. Not only are we providing flights to the USA for less than a standard London to Edinburgh train ticket, we’re opening the market to a whole new market of travellers who might previously not have been able to afford transatlantic travel.
“The low-cost airline market is scrambling to offer cheap flights to North America and I’m happy that we‘ll be amongst the first to do so and at a price point that will no doubt cause our rivals to re-evaluate their plans.”