American Arms Dealer Buys WOW Air - The Reykjavik Grapevine

American Arms Dealer Buys WOW Air

Published September 6, 2019

Sam O'Donnell
Photos by
RUV

Michele Ballarin has purchased the assets to WOW Air. She did not disclose how much she paid for it, but told RUV that she has $85 million USD committed to the business, with the intent to make it a European hub. She says she wants to capture the Icelandic experience. She has consulted with a Michelin Starred chef to prepare the in-flight menu. She says she wants to make flying fun again. Without specifying a purchase price, she assured RUV that she plans to have the company back on its feet by October. “We are debt free and want to stay debt-free,” she said.

Their main headquarters will be Washington Dulles in North America, and Keflavík in Iceland. She is hopeful that the company will start with two planes, and by next summer, she hopes to have between ten and twelve. “I’m not seeing more than twelve aircraft when we’re full-sail, as you vikings would say here,” she said with a smile. She has not specified how many former employees she plans to hire, but she does want to bring back at least some of the pilots and flight attendants. “We’re looking for a very strong Icelandic face.”

While we can’t be sure how she managed to convince the shareholders of WOW Air to sell to her, we can speculate that it had something to do with a tall man with fiery eyes, cloven feet, and a silver tongue who made promises of material wealth and power in exchange for mortal souls.

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