Iceland’s WOW air suspended operations and cancelled all its flights on Thursday without warning.

The move left thousands of passengers in North America and Europe without transportation.

In a statement on its website, the airline company told passengers there would be no more flights. It advised them to find flights with other airlines.

WOW air was the creation of Icelandic businessman Skuli Mogensen. The airline was founded in late 2011, with its first flight coming six months later.

The company specialized in low-cost travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Its main cities were Reykjavik, London, Paris, New York and Washington, D.C.

In 2013, the airline grew as a result of its low ticket prices and a marketing campaign aimed at making Iceland a popular destination for foreign travelers.

WOW air flew travelers to a total of 16 cities in 2015. By 2018, it offered flights to 36 destinations in Europe, North America and Asia. The company reported a 60 percent increase in passenger numbers.

By 2019, the number of planes was cut from 20 to 11 and the company stopped serving several cities, including some in the United States. It also cut jobs.

For the past six months, Mogensen had been seeking investors to keep the airline in the sky.

“I will never forgive myself for not acting sooner,” Mogensen said in a letter to employees Thursday. “WOW was clearly an incredible airline, and we were on the path to doing amazing things again.”

More than 1,000 people will lose their jobs.

Passenger Kimberly Worthy was waiting at the airport in Iceland. She told CNN television she was supposed to fly home to Atlanta.

“I arrived and there were no signs for WOW and when I asked about how to check in, the only response I got was: Check your email. Wow doesn't fly here anymore,” she said.

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.


destination (n.) - a place to which a person is going


ticket (n.) - a document or piece of paper showing that payment was made for a show or ride


incredible (adj.) - extremely good, great, or large


amazing (adj.) - causing wonder; surprising


check (v.) - to compare with something; to inspect or examine




Exercise 2


Answer these questions about the article.

  1. What did WOW airlines do?
  2. Who founded the airline?
  3. Why did it stop working?
  4. How many people will lose their jobs?


Exercise 3


Please give your opinion on the following statement and give your reasons behind it.

  • What would you do if your flight gets cancelled or the company stops working?


Exercise 4 


Have a discussion on following questions.


  1. Did you ever fly on an airplane?
  2. Do you like flying, if not, then why?
  3. Are you afraid of flying?
  4. Has your flight ever been cancelled?


This lesson is based on a news article originally published by VOA Learning English.