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Airline collapses just days before move to London Stansted

PUBLISHED: 09:18 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:58 29 March 2019

Skúli Mogensen, chief executive and founder of WOW air: Picture: SIGURJAN RAGNAR

Skúli Mogensen, chief executive and founder of WOW air: Picture: SIGURJAN RAGNAR

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A budget airline has folded just three days before moving into London Stansted.

WOW AirWOW Air

Wow Air ceased trading on Thursday, March 28.

News of the closure came hours after the Icelandic firm left thousands of passengers stranded around the world when it suddenly suspended all of its flights.

The airline’s financial woes are well documented – and it is thought to owe around £150m.

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Hopes of a buy-out from rivals Icelandair were dashed earlier this week after talks broke down.

A message posted to the Wow Air website read: “Wow Air has ceased operation. All Wow Air flights have been cancelled. Passengers are advised to check available flights with other airlines.

“Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances.”

On Sunday the airline was set to switch its services from London Gatwick to London Stansted.

The move would have provided transatlantic travellers a cheaper alternative than major airlines.

Daily flights departing Stansted to Keflavik Airport, near Reykjavik, were due to begin, with passenger then making connections onward to the US and Canada.

A spokesman for Stansted Aiport said: “We are very sorry to hear WOW air has ceased operations, which is disappointing for both the airport and passengers.

“The airline wasn’t currently operating services from London Stansted but was due to return to the airport next month so any passengers booked to travel are advised to check the airline’s website for the latest advice.”

Wow Air was founded in 2012 by Icelandic entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen and last year carried 3.5 million passengers around the globe.

The collapse has caused concern among many travellers who were due to use Wow Air London Stansted service.

But Credit expert Alastair Douglas, of TotallyMoney, believes many customers will be entitled to their money back.

He said: ““Lack of knowledge of these situations often leaves consumers out of pocket, thinking there’s nothing to be done, when really that’s not the case.

“Providing the purchase was above £100 — and you used a credit card to book directly with Wow Air and not through a third-party booking site — you should be able to get your money back under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.”

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