ICELAND (eTN) - Iceland's WOW Air took a major step today in securing its position in the low-cost carrier market by overtaking its main competitor â Iceland Express.
What makes this takeover most interesting is that WOW Air started flying earlier this year whereas Iceland Express was established in 2002.
âIceland Express was a tough competitor,â said WOW Air's Chief Owner and CEO, Skuli Mogensen, âDiscussions about a takeover started a week ago and things evolved quickly from there.â
From today, WOW Air takes over Iceland Express's daily operations and scheduled flights. âThe transition should have minimal impact on passengers,â said Mogensen who looks forward to heading an airline large enough to meet future competition in the low-cost market.
Icelandair continues to be the largest airline in Iceland and is likely to transport about 2 million passengers in 2012. The airline celebrates its 75 year anniversary this year. The key to its success is to use Iceland as its hub for its transatlantic flights. Only portions of the total number of passengers actually visit Iceland.
In its first year of operations, WOW Air flew to 13 places in Europe. Iceland Express flew to 9 places in Europe and was planning to fly to Boston in the United States in 2013. Mogensen said the Boston flight is on hold. âThe US market is a very exciting prospect, and weâll be looking into it,â he said.
Iceland's popularity as a tourist destination is growing. A record 17 airlines flew into the country in 2012. The final number of visitors to Iceland in 2012 is likely to be in the region of 600,000.