WOW air reports a loss for 2017

The Icelandic low cost airline announced Friday that it operated on a deficit last year. The previous years had been profitable.

wow gma Friðrik Örn Hjaltested
Credit: Friðrik Örn Hjaltested / WOW air

The Icelandic low-cost carrier has announced its results for the year 2017, revealing it operated at a loss for the first time since entering the US market in 2015.

WOW air’s has experienced phenomenal growth since launching its first transatlantic flight in 2015. The company reported a profit in 2015, and again in 2016 (30 million USD). Since then, the privately held company has stayed mum on its earn­ings. That is up until last week, when it reported a net loss of 22 million USD for the financial year of 2017.

WOW air revealed on Friday, that its earn­ings for 2017 had been 486 million USD, an increase of 58 percent from the previous year. The company reported EBIT loss was 13.5 million USD in 2017.

According to a company statement, WOW air’s expectations for 2019 are good, despite the company facing higher oil prices and problems linked to the vola­tility of the Icelandic krona (ISK).

The company was founded in 2011 by Skúli Mogensen and has grown rapidly since. The airline launched its first transatlantic flight in 2015 and now offers non-stop flights to 40 dest­inations across Europe and the US. This year, the carrier added three new Airbus A321 aircrafts and four Airbus A330 to its fleet, which by the end of the year will count 24 planes in total.

“WOW air has grown and invested heavily in the past years. These invest­ments were made to ensure the company’s future prospects. 2015 and 2016 were extremely good years for the company, however, 2017 was not. The operating loss we experienced last year was due to the company’s growth and ongoing expenses. External factors, such as rising oil prices, a vola­tile local currency, and increasing compe­tition on our key markets, also presented the company with some difficulties. However, I’m positive 2018 will be defined by cont­inued growth,” said Skúli Mogensen, the founder and CEO of WOW air.