Airlines offering rescue fares after Wow Air collapses

Several airlines are offering special rescue fares to help stranded passengers, after Icelandic ...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

16.40 28 Mar 2019

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Airlines offering rescue fares...

Airlines offering rescue fares after Wow Air collapses

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

16.40 28 Mar 2019

Share this article

Several airlines are offering special rescue fares to help stranded passengers, after Icelandic low-cost airline Wow Air collapsed.

Earlier, the company posted an update on its website saying it was in the last stages of "finalising equity raise with a group of investors".

However in a further update, they confirmed they had entirely ceased operations.


In a statement, the airline said: "Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances. Information on those airlines will be published, when it becomes available.

"Passengers whose ticket was paid with a credit card are advised to contact their credit card company to check whether a refund of the ticket cost will be issued."

Wow Air operated a number of flights to and from Dublin, with its main Reykjavik services allowing connections to several North American airports.

Advice for affected passengers

The Commission for Aviation Regulation has issued advice for passengers affected.

For those who purchased a ticket using a credit or debit card, chargeback may be an option. They are advised to contact their card provider for further details.

For those who have taken out travel insurance, it may include airline failure cover - usually known as Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI).

The insurance provider should be contacted for further details.

For those who booked through a code share partner of the airline or booking agent, these parties should be contacted directly.

If a ticket was booked as part of a package, the travel agent or tour operator should be contacted directly.

"If you did not purchase your ticket as part of a package, you are advised to self-repatriate by booking directly with other airlines", the commission said.

Rescue fares

Aer Lingus has confirmed it is offering impacted passengers special rescue fares.

This is in accordance with its voluntary agreement with International Air Transport Association (IATA) - and subject to availability on Aer Lingus flights.

Those wishing to avail of the rescue fares should contact the following numbers after 6:30pm on Thursday evening:

  • 1890-800-600 (from Ireland)
  • 00353-1-886-8822 (from Europe)
  • 033-3006-6920 (from the UK)
  • 516-622-4222 (from the US)
  • 800-474-7424 (from Canada)

Wow passengers that are scheduled to travel from April 12th onwards can avail of the Aer Lingus fares from Ireland to US and Canada from €169 each-way including taxes and charges.

Icelandair has also said it will assist stranded affected passengers by providing discounted fares to and from Dublin.

The offer also extends to cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London and Paris - as well as Boston and New York.

Icelandair is offering a discount fare for stranded passengers of around €53 in Europe and €89 in the US.

It has established a special webpage for stranded passengers.

Wow Air Germany, Frankfurt am Main: A passenger aircraft of the airline WOW Air is approaching Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Silas Stein/dpa

Wow Air's collapse follows just five months after the sudden closure of Cobalt Air.

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has repeatedly called on the Government to review the legislation around bonding among travel providers in Ireland.

Irish travel agents are expressing "concern" over the lack of bonding among all travel providers by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR).

John Spollen, president of the ITAA, said "The ITAA have been pushing for a collective bond among all travel agents, tour operators and airlines and have contacted the Minister for Transport... many times about this issue.

"As airlines are among the largest travel providers in Ireland, we believe it is necessary that they, along will all other travel providers, be bonded in order to protect Irish consumers."

"Undoubtedly, the sudden cancellation of flights is causing disturbance to travellers booked with Wow Air and we are advising any affected Irish holidaymakers to get in touch with their travel agent, who can assist with arrangements for alternative travel."

Affected passengers are advised not to travel to the airport unless they have booked alternative flights.

Wow Air had faced significant financial difficulties over the past year.

It announced a loss of almost €30m for the first nine months of 2018.

The firm announced major restructuring plans in December, laying off 111 employees.

It has also sold a number of its aircraft amid plans to reduce its fleet from 20 planes to 11.

Takeover talks between Wow Air and Icelandair collapsed over the weekend, shortly after private equity firm Indigo Partners also cancelled a planned investment in the troubled airline.

The airline employed around 1,000 workers.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann

Main image: File photo of Wow Air plane. Picture by: Markus Mainka/DPA/PA Images

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