WOW Air’s sudden shutdown leaves customers stranded

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Icelandic airline Wow Air has ceased operating, with all flights cancelled.

In Montreal, which had become one of the airlines North American hubs in recent years, numerous passengers going to or from Iceland and other European destinations found themselves scrambling to change their travel plans.

"Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances", reads WOW air's website.

Wow in December sold four Airbus A321 passenger jets to Air Canada for US$12-million, according to Mr. Rennert and industry reports, as the carrier tried to stay afloat.

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The Icelandic budget airline Wow Air just announced that it is shutting down, effective immediately. She said passengers were not provided with accommodation and no refunds were issued.

The airline encouraged customers who had paid for their ticket with a credit card to check whether the credit card company would refund the price of their ticket, and directed passengers to other airlines to try to find alternative routes to their destinations. "In case of a bankruptcy, claims should be filed to the administrator / liquidator".

Mr. Rennert, of Elevate Aviation Solutions, said the discounters operate with thin margins and need full planes and fast aircraft turnaround times to be profitable.

Analysts at investment firm Stifel note that WOW accounted for just 1 percent of air traffic capacity between the US and Europe, but that by offering low prices it put pressure on other airlines to cut fares.

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Mogensen had been working furiously over the past months to save the airline he founded in 2011, holding talks with potential rescuers including larger rival Icelandair and USA private equity firm Indigo Partners.

Though many people, especially older millennials, prefer debit cards over credit cards, credit cards offer more consumer protection in cases where services can not be rendered, like a flight on a canceled airline.

"Obviously the news of bankruptcy stings a little bit, a lot of people are stranded and we can't get our money back", Laporte told Rogers Radio.

Icelandair was quick to offer stranded WOW travelers cheap tickets. The sale, said the airline, was a part of WOW air ongoing restructuring and to ensure the maximum utilization of its remaining fleet.

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WOW air, founded in 2011, had been struggling to save its operations since Monday.

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