Restructuring will cut Wow Air's operations in half

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Wow Air will drastically cut its fleet in an effort to continue flying.

On Dec. 13, the Icelandic carrier said it will reduce its fleet from 20 to 11 aircraft as part of a restructuring. Wow will no longer fly its widebody Airbus A330s, planes it uses on flights between Reykjavik and Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The fleet cut will follow a previous reduction of aircraft from 24 to 20.

Wow's new flight schedule will take effect after the holiday season. According to the website Routes, Wow has filed schedule changes that show it will end Los Angeles service on Jan. 19 and San Francisco service on March 19. The carrier will also cease its flights to New Delhi on Jan. 19 (those flights began less than two weeks ago). Wow had heavily promoted the New Delhi service in the months after announcing the route in May. 

This fall, Wow also ended or announced plans to end service to Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, New York Kennedy and Dallas. 

"After a challenging year, Wow Air is now restructuring and simplifying its operations to return to its roots as a profitable ultralow-cost airline while discussions with Indigo Partners progress," the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Indigo Partners will invest up to $75 million in Wow under a share purchase agreement that has yet to be finalized.

Wow issued a notice to investors on Dec. 14 which gives them until Jan. 20 to decide whether they support the share purchase. Indigo, a private equity firm specializing in budget airlines, originally announced its intent to rescue Wow on Nov. 30, but no dollar figures were revealed. Indigo owns Frontier Airlines and Hungarian budget airline Wizz Air and is the lead investor in discount carriers Volaris and JetSmart of Mexico and Chile, respectively. 

Wow lost $47.6 million in the first half of 2018.

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