Full article on forbes.com
“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” was almost certainly the rationale behind Icelandair’s now-canceled decision to take over WOW Air this month.
The Icelandic flag-carrier has steadily lost market share since its lower-cost, more nimble, better marketed rival took to the skies in 2012 – copying its intercontinental hub model but with greater efficiencies and a stronger brand.
When Icelandair walked away from the deal yesterday – essentially hinting that WOW’s financial problems were terminal – pundits sounded a death knell for the younger carrier. WOW’s founder, Skuli Mogensen, had been candid that his airline was struggling amid high oil prices and market jitters over the collapse of Primera Air, another low-cost long-haul airline. Joining forces with a flag-carrier he had publicly berated for years appeared to be a final, grudging throw of the dice...