Nordic noir aviation: Wow, Icelandair
and Norwegian — February 2019
Icelandair was one of the most important factors in Iceland’s remarkable recovery from the financial crisis, in which its banking sector played a disproportionately large and dangerously speculative role. Icelandair developed a 24-hour hub operation at Keflavik Airport (KEF), introducing a new competitive element to the oligopolised Atlantic market. The national carrier enjoyed a period of rapid growth and good profitability during 2014-16.
But in 2015 Wow appeared on the hubbing scene, operating new A320/321s with a pure LCC product concept and with an almost identical connecting strategy to Icelandair (its waves typically scheduled an hour after Icelandair’s), owned and headed by the dynamic, triathlon-running, telecom entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen. Wow presented itself as no-frills and trendy, targeting European and American Millennials, and “providing lower prices than anyone else flying across the Atlantic”. Icelandair, flying 757s and 767s, is more traditional, offering some frills and better seats, appealing to a wide demographic, particularly older, richer vacationers, with moderately priced tickets.……