It's not the kind of update passengers want to get from their airline: "WOW Air has ceased operation." The Icelandic budget airline did indeed cease operations on Thursday, stranding passengers across two continents, per the AP. In a statement on its website, the airline, which had earlier suspended all its flights, told passengers there would be no further flights and advised them to check with other airlines for ways to reach their destinations. WOW, founded by entrepreneur Skuli Mogensen, began operations in 2012 and specialized in ultra-cheap flights between North America and Europe, with flights to airports in cities including New York, Paris, London, and Washington, DC, as well as its Reykjavik hub.
Its bankruptcy comes after six months of turbulent negotiations to sell the low-cost carrier, first to its main rival and flagship carrier Icelandair and later to Indigo Partners, an American company operating the airline Wizz. "I will never forgive myself for not acting sooner," Mogensen said in a letter to employees Thursday. WOW grounded at least six planes in North America that were set to leave late Wednesday from Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Detroit, New York, and Baltimore. In Europe, Reykjavik-bound planes from seven cities—Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Copenhagen—didn't take off Thursday morning. (Read more airline industry stories.)