WOW air, the low-cost carrier based out of Reykjavik, Iceland, has announced that it will be starting service from its home base to Tel Aviv, Israel in September, pending approval from the Israeli authorities. Of particular interest to US-based fliers, this will offer a new option for cheap one-stop service from the US to Israel, with introductory fares from Newark to Tel Aviv (stopping in Reykjavik) priced at under $300, while one-ways between KEF and TLV will be $99. Given the subpar standard set by El Al, perhaps this might be the best new economical way to get to Israel in coach…
WOW air also services, among others, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles; and the carrier is hoping that the launch of the new KEF-TLV service will significantly increase feed through its Icelandic hub. Of note, the flight will be timed to maximize connecting traffic from the US. The carrier operates a number of narrow-body Airbus aircraft along with just a few A330s; there is no word yet on what equipment the new Tel Aviv service will be operated by. Given that the A320/321 don’t have the range to fly from Iceland to Israel nonstop, my bet is on the route being operated by an A330. WOW air’s A330s are among the most dense out there, with 342 seats in an all-economy configuration — for comparison, Singapore Airlines has 285 seats on its A330. (As a quick aside, Indonesia’s Lion Air has a whopping 440 seats on its A330, which by comparison might make WOW air coach feel like first class.)
In light of the fact that fares to TLV are generally not cheap and that awards are not always readily available, this route will offer an affordable new way to get to Israel. As with other LCCs of course, WOW air makes up for low fares by charging for nearly every ancillary service and product imaginable. While prices vary depending on destination, travelers can expect to pay between $100-200 for bringing along carry-ons and checked bags, with additional costs for seat assignments and onboard food/beverage purchases.
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