The Icelandic budget carrier WOW Air made headlines with $69 one-way flights between North America and Europe. Now, they are turning their eyes towards Asia and are planning to start direct flights in 2018. This could bring lower fares to travel between Europe and Asia, as well as between the US and Asia!
Mogensen, the CEO of WOW Air, spoke to a local newspaper and disclosed their plans for 2018 (read more here)! WOW Air, together with Norwegian Air and later Level, have drastically increased competition on North Atlantic routes, resulting in historically low fares between North America and Europe. You can now frequently find round-trip fares below $300, even on legacy carriers trying to compete with the upstart low-cost carriers (LCC).
LCCs have had a harder time on routes between Asia and Europe – even popular Air Asia couldn’t make it work and gave up their routes to Europe years ago. Now, Scoot and Air Asia have started up a single route each and most recently, Norwegian Air started flights between Scandinavia and Bangkok and Singapore.
WOW Air is receiving four new Airbus A330neo that could fly non-stop to Asia and WOW is looking at possible routes. With their hub at Keflavik airport, WOW is most interesting for US travelers, offering them a one-stop flight between the US and Europe, or now to Asia. That would make especially India and the rest of South Asia interesting, followed by tourist destinations in South East Asia, especially from (or to) the East Coast of the US. European travelers would spend significantly more time in the air by first going West to Iceland, before heading East to Asia.
It will be interesting to see, if WOW can pull this off – they will compete head-on with the low-priced Chinese airlines as well as with the Middle Eastern carriers (and of course all the European airlines) for the same customers traveling between the US and Asia. I’m always cheering on the low-cost carriers – even if I don’t plan to fly them personally, I welcome the competition they bring to the market and the positive impact they have on air fares!
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