Wow Air making a comeback

The distinctive purple livery of Iceland’s Wow Air appears to be returning to the skies. 

Virginia-based USAerospace Associates has finalized an agreement to purchase the brand, six months after Wow went bankrupt in March. 

During a press conference last week, USAerospace Associates chairman Michele Ballarin declined to reveal the purchase price for the failed airline, but she said that USAeropsace has allocated $85 million to restart operations. 

“We have solid financial commitment. It’s all equity, no debt,” Ballarin said. 

Ballarin said Wow will relaunch with two aircraft and that the first flight will link Washington Dulles and Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport. 

“We look forward to seeing our first flights in October,” she said. 

Dulles spokesman Micah Lillard said no Wow flights are currently scheduled out of the airport, though airport officials did hold an initial meeting with Ballarin in August. 

Ballarin said the revamped Wow will continue to offer low-cost flying but not a bare-bones service approach. Customers shouldn’t have to pay for water, she said. The airline will focus on a nutritious food service. And Ballarin said she has requested lounge space at Dulles and Keflavik. Unlike other airlines, which reserve lounges for premium customers, Wow lounges would be open to all customers.

Wow began U.S. operations in 2015 and by summer 2018 served Iceland from 13 U.S. airports. But the carrier’s finances imploded. By the time Wow ceased operations on March 28, only four of those routes remained.

Ballarin said she doesn’t believe the closure has damaged the Wow brand. 

“I think people miss the ability to go out to Keflavik and get on a purple airplane and fly somewhere,” she said. 

She said her goal is for Wow to fly four aircraft by next summer and then to gradually grow its fleet to a 10 to 12 jets. 

The airline will be based jointly in Reykjavik and at Dulles.

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