The Icelandic airline Wow Air, which announced last July that it was suspending its flights to Israel for the upcoming winter season due to what it called “operational, commercial, logistical reasons and considerations,” will apparently be resuming service on its Tel Aviv route next summer.
The Secret Flights Facebook page reported on Sunday that flights would resume in June with fares that are 25 percent below prevailing prices in the market. Wow will offer round-trip service to Los Angeles via its Reykjavik hub for as low as $484; to San Francisco starting at $494; to New York beginning at $504, to Boston from $445 and to Montreal from $500.
Last July, Wow, which started flying to Israel in September 2017 with service from Tel Aviv via Iceland to 10 destinations in the United States and Canada, published its winter schedule and Israel was not on it. The company said it had dropped its Israel service due to the expansion of its other operations, including new routes to the United States and India, where the company said there was more demand during the winter.
When it first entered the Israeli market, the company said its starting price for flights to the United States through Iceland would be $320 round-trip, but in some cases the price was actually between $500 and $700.
In July, the company said it was only suspending service to Israel rather than terminating it and was very pleased with its Tel Aviv route and its operations in the Israeli market. It planned to resume service next summer and had invested a lot in promoting tourism to Israel, Wow said. The Icelandic carrier came in for considerable criticism for suspending service because it had received a 750,000 euro ($870,000) grant from the Israeli Tourism Ministry for launching service to Reykjavik, a destination that had not been previously served from Israel. The service only lasted for a year.
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Wow has reported losses recently, but had been very profitable until the recent spike in aviation fuel prices. Nevertheless, it is a young company without much of a corporate heritage. In September, it was reported that three major banks had refused to invest in its bonds, which caused the company some liquidity problems. Its exit from Israel, however, was not attributed to financial problems but to a strategic decision based on the company’s rapid expansion.