WOW Air Launches Flights To Vancouver

WOW continues to ‘wow’ us with the reveal that they will be launching a new route!

Last week, the self-funded airlines’ CEO delayed fears that the airline was undergoing financial stress and that an upcoming route would be announced.

“We are going to announce one new major destination in North America next week. I can’t specify beyond that” – WOW CEO Skuli Mogensen to USA Today

Even here at Simple Flying have been unsure if the airline will survive the coming winter, or even if the whole Iceland air industry might collapse.

However, we have been surprised by the news that WOW announcing routes from Iceland to Vancouver. 

Skuli Mogensen
WOW Air is owned solely by Founder and CEO Skuli Mogensen. Photo: WOW Air

What are the details?

The route will be starting on June 6, 2019, and will be the Icelandic airline’s third route to Canada, after Toronto and Montreal.

WOW new route
The new proposed route will skip the top of the world.

The schedule will be as follows:

WW245 Reykjavik to Vancouver departing 5:20PM arriving 6:15PM
WW246 Vancouver to Reykjavik departing 7:30PM arriving 10:05AM (+1 day)
Source: Onemileatatime

The plane seems to stay on the ground for just over an hour before jetting back home to Iceland, saving on ground fees in Vancouver. The westbound flight will be approx 8 hours, whilst the eastbound flight will be pushed by the wind at 7 hours and 30 minutes.

The route will fly between Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Keflavík International Airport (KEF), Reykjavik is 3544 miles / 5703 kilometers / 3080 nautical miles.

It will be flown by an A321neo, that with a range of only 7,400 km / 4600 miles / 4,000 nmi will make it one of the longest A321 routes in the world. With a full complement of passengers and cargo, it will be rather close flight.

Wow A321neo

Why is this a big deal?

Vancouver is a hard city to get to. Its far from European destinations and even a flight within Canada from the big cities of Toronto or Montreal can cost more than a transatlantic air voyage.

The news that WOW will be opening a route is fantastic, especially at the prices that are on offer.

Wow air
The prices are now available on their website. Source: Onemileatatime

For only $129 CAD, or $98.5 USD, passengers would be able to fly one way to Iceland. Naturally, that’s only really halfway to mainland Europe so you would have to account for an additional cost from there.

This, of course, is a low-cost carrier and thus passengers are expected to pay for additionals like checked baggage, food, entertainment and more. As the flight is over seven hours long each way, passengers will very likely buy more than double their ticket price on extra.

What could be next for WOW?

WOW recently completed a round of funding allowing it to open up new routes. This came with the caveat that they re-adjust and examine routes that they already operate.

By closing routes to the Midwest and opening up routes to more expensive destinations such as Vancouver, WOW Air is attempting to attract a new caliber of customers (Especially price-conscious customers who already spend a small fortune on rent) and leaving their competition to fight over the east coast of America.