Route News Stop Press

This month’s route news from Inside Traveller is available here. Below are further news items that missed the editorial deadline:

• Aeroflot is cancelling its twice-weekly Moscow–Toronto service at the end of October.

• British Airways is launching a five-times weekly Gatwick–Seville service on 29th March, and will be transferring its Heathrow–Las Palmas service to Gatwick from the same date. At the same time it will be cancelling its service to Colombo.

• CityJet is cancelling its services from Cambridge to Amsterdam and Dublin at the end of October.

• Myanmar Airways is launching a five-times weekly service between Yangon and Seoul from 26th October.

• Snowbird Airlines is launching a twice-weekly service between Enontekio in northern Finland and Gatwick on 6th December.

• WOW air is launching a thrice-weekly service between Reykjavik and Dublin on 2nd June.

Northern murk

Iceland Express has been mentioned in dispatches before. In 2011 it had an eyecatchingly poor record of reliability (though this had improved as 2012 progressed).  And it has also been notable for its business model – it sells flights but doesn’t actually operate them itself – leasing in aircraft and crew from other airlines to operate them instead.

The holding company of Iceland Express owned a couple of real airlines, including Astraeus in the UK, but it let these go bankrupt. Until yesterday, Iceland Express flights were being flown by aircraft belonging to Czech Airlines.

Meanwhile, less than twelve months ago, some senior staff of Iceland Express left to start their own airline, WOW air. There was some speculation at the time that, in the end, the two companies would get “back together” at some point. There was even a scurrilous suggestion that WOW air would take over Iceland Express at the end of the summer season and allow Iceland Express to disappear leaving any debts unpaid.

Yesterday it was announced that WOW air has bought Iceland Express, in a deal that was “not a merger”, to quote the press release. Later on in the day Isavia (the company that runs Iceland’s airports) impounded a Czech-owned Airbus A320 because of unpaid airport fees.

What more can one say? We naturally wish Wow air every success in the future.