From Iceland — New "Budget Airline" Probably Performance Art, Attracts Attention Of Lawyer

New “Budget Airline” Probably Performance Art, Attracts Attention Of Lawyer

Published November 6, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Mom Air

The Grapevine and other media outlets received a press release yesterday announcing the creation of a new budget airline called Mom Air. As can be seen, the logo and colour scheme for the airline bears a very close resemblance to the logo and colour scheme for the now-defunct WOW Air. As we reached out for answers, a lawyer for the copyright holder of WOW Air intellectual properties believes the airline has cleared violated copyright.

The airline appears to be almost exactly like WOW Air’s original form in almost every way, right down to it being a budget airline with very similar destinations. The one key difference is that this airline purports to put gender equality at the forefront of their operations.

The Grapevine reached out to Mom Air, asking them if WOW Air was aware of Mom Air’s imagery. They replied saying they have “no formal connection” with WOW Air, and that their holdings and connected parties would be revealed at a press conference scheduled for November 11th.

We also noticed that Mom Air’s web presence—including their website, Facebook and Instagram—appeared to be fairly recently online, the home page itself only registered late last month. Mom Air responded by saying that the project had been in the works for a long time under the brand name WRW before the decision to go with Mom Air was reached. Their site states that WRW stands for “who run the world”, a reference to Beyoncé’s “Girls Run The World”.

At this point, the Grapevine had to ask if this was performance art of some kind or an actual airline. Mom Air replied affirmatively that it is, in fact, an actual airline, and will begin operations soon.

However, the ISNIC registry for shows the domain name belongs to artist Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson, as the site is directly registered by a one OEF3-IS, which is the same individual who registered and owns the domain for Oddur’s home page, raising further questions about the validity of the airline.

Fréttablaðið now reports that Páll Ágúst Ólafsson, a lawyer protecting the interests of Michelle Ballarin and the company US Aerospace Associates LLC, reached out to Oddur, as Ballarin bought all of WOW Air’s intellectual properties last autumn.

“One can always have fun with artistic performances, but a line has to be drawn somewhere,” he told reporters. “This is clearly an unauthorised use of a trademarked logo.”

Oddur also said that while he has not begun legal preceedings, he is hopeful that the creator will eventually take the site down, adding that he considered it a “fun project” nonetheless.

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