The low-cost airline WOW Air will decide by the summer when its first base outside Iceland will be located, Dublin being among the three airports still in the running for long-haul operations.
Interviewed in the daily Irish Independent on 23 January 2017, the founder and CEO of the Icelandic airline Skúli Mogensen did not specify which other airports were among the “finalists”. Headquartered in Reykjavik-Keflavik, WOW Air plans to base two or three aircraft in its new base, going up to 17 within five years. Airbus A321 and A330 aircraft, and later A321LR as well, will be based there to launch long-haul flights – initially to the United States. But the CEO also evokes new connections to Asia, the Irish capital can then serve as a stopover for passengers from the rest of Europe. If everything goes well, this first out-of- Iceland base should be inaugurated at the beginning of next year.
The choice of Dublin is partly due to the on-site presence of US customs services and its proximity to Iceland, Mogensen said. But he also blames the airport of the city for its growing congestion (like Reykjavik), a point that will play in the final choice. WOW Air has been serving the Irish capital for two years. Connecting there takes between 60 and 90 minutes to the USA, where it proposes seven destinations (including Miami and Pittsburgh which will be inaugurated in April and June respectively).
Launched in November 2011 by Icelandic entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen, WOW Air operates a fleet of two A320s with 174 seats, seven A321 seats with 200 seats and three A330-300s (342 seats including 23 in Premium). It is awaiting the delivery of an A320neo and an A321neo (leased from ALC), and four additional A321s.