WOW Air being acquired by Icelandair Group

While the overtures of British Airways towards low-cost carrier Norwegian drew to a nought, it seems one of their neighbours are having more success with M&A. It has just been announced that WOW Air, the low-cost carrier based out of Iceland, is being acquired by Iceland’s flag carrier Icelandair for about $18 million.

icelandair wow

The transaction will be an all-stock transaction, and WOW Air shareholders will get about 5.4% of the stock pool of Icelandair after the deal closes. The companies will continue to operate with their brands even after the acquisition.


Remember, WOW Air has been struggling for a while now. They had grown massively and now had to start consolidating their route network. The airline had cut away from 5 stations in the USA in the coming days.

What happens next?

Iceland Air and WOW Air don’t have much to write home about except having a tremendous geographic presence and mostly low fares. They command about 4% of the trans-Atlantic market between them. There is only so far that contention for dominance would have gone. For now, I imagine this would mean competition would become lesser, and ‘synergies’ would start coming out of the route network. A codeshare may not be out of the window either. However, I am not sure if Iceland has any competition commission which may rule against this deal for fear of a monopoly.

That should also mean Icelandair, which was planning to come to India or at least having the thoughts, may not come over after all. Will this impact the upcoming flight to Delhi or not? I don’t think so. I think they will at least start the route and then see where it goes from there.

What do you think of the deal where Icelandair is acquiring WOW Air? Cheap fares anymore?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Very basic airline economics suggest that the Delhi route was doomed from the start. You need good quantity of point-to-point traffic because connecting traffic to the USA to/from India is very low yielding, even for an LCC. Basically WOW Air can get around the same average fare from USA/Canada-Iceland as they would on USA-India. That’s more than double the distance.

  2. Your article seems very vague with no concrete information all i can read is “im not sure” & “i think” & “i imagine”.You need to do your home work right and put in some effort.

    • Not sure why is there a misdirected aggression. If you have additional info, would be happy to learn and would benefit anyone planning to travel in the near future on either of the 2 airlines / routes. Else it is unwarranted.

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