WOW Air will “pause” its Miami schedule this spring, a move that could be the first stumble for the Icelandic budget carrier in its breakneck U.S. expansion.
WOW’s service between Miami and its hub near Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik will end April 7, almost exactly a year after the flights first launched. WOW confirmed the move, but suggested Miami could be restored in the future as a seasonal destination.
“We are continuously evaluating what our customers want and adjusting the routes, as needed,” Svana Fridriksdottir, VP of Communications for WOW Air, said in a statement provided to USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky blog. “Service from Miami will be paused starting in April, with the possibility of becoming a seasonal route in the future.”
WOW Air, one of a new breed of European budget airlines known for rock-bottom airfares, has made a name for itself in the U.S. with regular sales that drop one-way fares to Iceland and Europe to as low as $99 or less. But the carrier charges fees for nearly everything beyond boarding the plane; advance seat-assignments and food and beverages cost extra. So do carry-on bags that must be stowed in overhead bins. (Archives: WOW Air rolls out $89 one-way fares to Europe; what's the catch?)
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WOW began flying to Miami in April 2017. At the time, Miami became the sixth U.S. destination for WOW, which only began flying to the United States in 2015. Since then, WOW has announced eight more U.S. destinations – a dramatic expansion that boosted its presence at 14 airports here.
The growth even pushed WOW into the U.S. interior, including to destinations such as St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati.
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WOW’s other U.S. markets in include: Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Detroit, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Newark, San Francisco. In Canada, WOW flies from Montreal and Toronto.
Now, Miami will become the first U.S. city to which WOW has suspended service. With that, WOW Air’s U.S. footprint will shrink to 13 U.S. cities, though the company has given no indication that its North American growth is ending.
“Our unique opportunity is to use Iceland as a hub. We can then distribute the traffic to our main destinations in Europe, be it London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, Copenhagen, etc.,” WOW Air Skúli Mogensen said to Today in the Sky in August about his company’s U.S. growth. “That’s really the key. Instead of having a single point-to-point flight, we actually give you a very affordable flight to multiple destinations in Europe via Iceland.”
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