Face to Face: Skuli Mogensen, Wow Air

Face to Face: Skuli Mogensen, Wow Air

Tourist traffic from the UK into Iceland has been on the up in recent years, even since a certain eruption. Travel Daily UK spoke to ‘cheeky’ Icelandic-based carrier WOW Air about how business has been since its launch in 2012.

Tourist traffic from the UK into Iceland has been on the up in recent years, even since a certain eruption. Travel Daily UK spoke to ‘cheeky’ Icelandic-based carrier WOW Air about how business has been since its launch in 2012.

Skuli Mogensen is CEO of Wow Air
Skuli Mogensen is CEO of Wow Air

Q) WOW Air launched a little more than a year ago, what has business been like since?

Since our inaugural flight to Paris on 31 May 2012, business has been strong and our passenger numbers have grown hugely from 90,000 in 2012 to more than 400,000 in 2013.

We expect this growth to continue in 2014, especially given the launch of our new route to North America.

To accommodate the influx of passengers from the UK only, we started flying 13 times a week from London to Reykjavik in June 2013, which is a 117% flight increase.

We now fly to London, Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen all year round and have added Alicante, Barcelona, Salzburg and Vilnius to our network over the winter period. By spring 2014 we will fly to a total of 17 destinations.

 

Q) You were competing with easyJet when you launched, how did this affect your launch and/or marketing strategy?

There are a number of very good airlines out there today and, as a newcomer, we would have been foolish if we hadn’t studied what has and has not worked in the industry.

While WOW Air and easyJet are both low-cost airlines, our offering differs as easyJet doesn’t fly as frequently and flies out of Luton. We on the other hand fly nearly twice daily out of our Gatwick departure point.

 

Q) How does your offering compare/contrast with other airlines?

Our network strategy is simple – a high frequency of flights to a range of destinations, all year round.

Our mission is to offer the best price to and from Iceland, to be the most punctual and reliable airline and always with a smile.

These are our core values. We are very proud of being the most punctual airline in Iceland currently.

 

Q) Do you have plans to increase your frequencies from Gatwick, London or from the UK generally?

As we already increased our flights from Gatwick to Reykjavik by 117% in June this year to meet demand, we currently have no plans to further increase frequencies or to fly from additional UK airports as Gatwick provides the ideal hub for our UK passengers.

However, as WOW Air and Iceland’s popularity continues to grow among UK travellers, we are of course looking to the future and how we as an airline can develop our offering.

 

Q) What is new at WOW Air?

We see great opportunities in North America and have just announced our plans to launch a route from Reykjavik to Boston in spring 2014.

We also expect to add more North American destinations further down the line.

 

Q) Do you have any new initiatives in place for the UK trade coming up?

Travel agents/trade partners are vitally important to our distribution and with this in mind we have just implemented a new booking system that makes it easier for agents to book our flights through a stable and secure dedicated agent login.

In addition to this, we have just received our own AOC, which gives us better visibility, and will be receiving our own IATA code shortly.

Once receiving this code we will be an operating carrier as opposed to a marketing carrier.

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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