Airlines

Published on June 5th, 2015 | by Jim Lee

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WOW air flights to Iceland take off

On 2nd June, WOW air inaugurated its first scheduled flights between Ireland and Iceland. The inbound service, the WW852, arrived in Dublin at 09:49, just nine minutes behind schedule. The service was operated by Airbus A321-211, TF-MOM. Just under 3¾ hours later, at 13:22, the aircraft took off on its inaugural service to Reykjavik (KEF), as the WW853. The scheduled departure time of this service, which operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, is 12:10. WOW air is Iceland’s only low-cost airline and is described as the most punctual, with 92% of flights arriving on time in 2014. Therefore an hour’s delay on the inaugural flight was unwelcome.

However, the second service on the 4th June fared much worse. Again, although scheduled to arrive at 09:40, the WW852, operated by Airbus A320-232, LZ-MDD, arrived in Dublin at 19:30, almost ten hours late. It returned to Reykjavik, departing Dublin at 20:42 and landed there at 21:38 (local). LZ-MDD is leased from Bulgarian carrier, Air Via and the five year old aircraft has been in service since 23rd March 2013. It is one of three A320s in service with the airline, the other two being LZ-MDC, also leased from Air Via, and TF-WOW. The latter aircraft is the oldest in the company’s fleet, having been delivered originally nearly 10 years ago on 16th June 2005, to Atlas Jet, as TC-OGR. In addition, the airline has two recently acquired Airbus A321-211s. TF-MOM, which operated the inaugural flight, was the first to be delivered (on 25th March 2015). The aircraft wears a ‘reverse colour scheme’, i.e. purple fuselage overall with white titles, as the opposed to the rest of the fleet, which has a white overall colour scheme with purple titles. The aircraft is named ‘Freyja’, the Nordic Goddess of Love. The second aircraft was delivered on 6th April 2015 and is registered TF-DAD. It is named ‘Óðinn’, the Nordic God of Wisdom. The two aircraft, were originally built for UTair, as VQ-BTT and VQ-BMI, and although both aircraft were painted in the Russian carrier’s full livery they were never put into service.

WOW air logo

WOW air, announced its intention to fly from Ireland was announced last December and in February, on a visit to Dublin, WOW air’s CEO and serial entrepreneur, Skuli Mogensen, who founded the airline in November 2011, announced that the airline was to become the first low-cost carrier to fly to the USA from Dublin. WOW air offers connections from its European network, to its two US destinations, Boston and Washington D.C and Irish passengers can now avail of new low fares to via Reykjavik. They offer fares as low as €79 one way to Iceland and €197 one way to the US including taxes, the airline has already reported strong bookings which “have exceeded expectations”. The flight time is just two hours and 20 minutes to Reykjavik but the onward connections to the US could easily fall foul of schedule delays.

Commenting on the new service, Mr Mogensen said they were delighted to be the first airline to offer direct flights between Ireland and Iceland, given the many similarities between the two countries. “We look forward to welcoming the Irish to Iceland”, ‘he said. “We made the decision to operate a service from Ireland because we were confident that Iceland would appeal to the Irish. We weren’t wrong. Bookings on this new route are very strong from Dublin Airport and the demand has been stronger than expected in the first few months. Equally, Ireland is appealing to the Icelandic as a short break over the coming months” he added.

LZ-WOW in Dublin in Oct 2013 (IMG1826 JL)

WOW Air Airbus A.320 at Dublin. Jim Lee

Summer months offer Iceland’s summer visitors up to 24 hours sunlight to enjoy its famous hot springs and colourful summer festival calendar, while darker winter months offer tourists a chance to catch a glimpse of the breath taking Northern Lights.

WOW air offers the lowest fares, a modern fleet with the lowest emissions and it celebrated its one millionth passenger milestone, in December 2014. The airline flies to London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Copenhagen from Reykjavik all year-round and offers additional winter and summer destinations. WOW air flies to 20 destinations in both Europe and North America.

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About the Author

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Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.



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