Nov072018

Icelandair buys WOW Air

Icelandair buys WOW Air in a move to consolidate the airline traffic through Keflavik KEF. The two airlines control 3.8% of transatlantic travel. Both airlines will continue to operate as separate brands.

Analysts say this will likely lead to higher average ticket prices overall for these airlines. While that may be true overall, I am more hesitant to predict a major loss in fare deals from the USA. Icelandair and WOW one-stops via Iceland have been competitive with major alliance airlines in markets where Icelandair and WOW were not directly competing, like Icelandair low fares from Denver.

Source: Reuters – Icelandair buys WOW to strengthen international presence

I have flown WOW Air several times and Icelandair for the first time last month. I am not a fan of WOW despite having flown San Francisco to Europe for $70 one way a couple of times. WOW Air is a bare bones airlines requiring a fee for a carry-on or checked bag and there is no inflight entertainment system.

Icelandair Economy Light tickets include free seat selection, carry-on bag and personal item and allow a 3-day stopover in Iceland. There are seat back monitors with movies and music and non-alcohol beverages are complimentary. I loved flying Icelandair.

We will see how this Icelandair-WOW merger impacts transatlantic ticket prices. I still think there will be plenty of airfare deals to Europe in off-season with Icelandair.

Icelandair 767-300

Flight Review: Best in cheap class Icelandair SFO-LHR flight experience – Oct 18, 2018

Flight Review: WOW Air $70 SFO-KEF flight review, YMMV. – April 4, 2017

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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