Skift Take

Wow Air’s failure stranded passengers all over its route network and got quite a lot of attention because of its role in Iceland’s tourism success story. But it’s got company — check out the list of airlines that have folded in just the last 12 months. Aviation is a tough business.

Add Wow Air to a long — and growing — list of airline failures around the world. Like Primera Air before it and perhaps Norwegian before long, the Icelandic carrier was a victim of intense fare competition on transatlantic routes. In general, airlines that have perished in the last year have been small, lacking the scale and capital resources to endure through competitive battles, fuel shocks, and other challenges. The last big airlines to collapse were Air Berlin and Monarch in 2017. (A few others, like Flybe in the UK, were headed for collapse before being rescued through takeovers.)

Recent Airline Failures Launch Date Date of Failure Base
Wow Air 2012 Mar-19 Iceland
Germania 1978 Feb-19 Germany
Flybmi 1987 Feb-19 U.K.
Insel Air 2006 Feb-19 Curaçao
California Pacific 2018 Jan-19 U.S.
PrivatAir 1977 Dec-18 Switzerland
Small Planet 2008 Nov-18 Lithuania
Cobalt 2016 Oct-18 Cyprus
Primera Air 2009 Oct-18 Denmark
Cello 2009 Oct-18 UK
Shaheen 1994 Oct-18 Pakistan
Auzr Air 2017 Sep-18 Germany
Wataniya Airways 2017 Sep-18 Kuwait
SkyWork 1983 Aug-18 Switzerland
VLM 1992 Aug-18 Belgium
OneJet 2015 Aug-18 U.S.
NextJet 2002 May-18 Sweden
Aserca 1968 May-18 Venezuela
Saratov Airlines 1931 May-18 Russia
Air Arabia Jordan 2015 Apr-18 Jordan
SBA Airlines 1997 Apr-18 Venezuela

Senior Editor Andrew Sheivachman contributed to this report.

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Tags: flybe, wow air

Photo credit: Wow Air joins a growing list of airlines that have gone defunct this past year. Wow Air

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