Financially troubled WOW Air which is still under financial due diligence from its investor, Indigo Partners, launched its flagship service to Delhi this week.
It was seen as so important that the airline decided to press ahead despite having only one A330-300, TF-GAY, left in its fleet, after being forced to hand the others back due to financial constraints, which brought it close to collapse.
However they have done so at the cost of passengers on other routes.
The flight to LAX from Reykjavik was described as “the worst of my life” by one aviation journalist. WOW used to fly an A330 on the route but has downgraded it to an A320.
Described as “short haul seating, cramped and awkward, no tilt, no leg room, awful food service”, the flight was also required to stop for fuel in Edmonton, because it didn’t have the range to reach LAX.
The flight took 10.5 hours from Reykjavik- that’s as long as most direct flights from London.
The flight to Delhi was of course quite different as the airline was keen to impress journalists and passengers alike, that everything was perfect and the future is bright.
For WOW’s sake and that of its staff, I hope they get it together, the India flight is innovative, crossing the sub continent and bringing alternate connectivity to a vast market may well work.
However there’s only so long you can push passengers on other long haul routes and keep their goodwill. They have alternatives.