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Last week, Iceland's WOW Air ceased operating and today the country's central bank is warning about the impact on the local economy,
"Risk in the financial system has been considered relatively moderate in the recent term, albeit subject to change if economic shocks should strike. Some of that risk has now materialised in the failure of the capelin [fish] catch and the collapse of WOW Air. These developments make it clear that export revenues and GDP growth will be weaker than was assumed in the Central Bank’s February forecast. There are still risks that have not yet materialised but could do so in the near future," the bank says in its financial stability report.
"Although WOW Air’s collapse will cause some losses in the banking system, it had already been established that the direct impact on Iceland’s systemically important banks would be limited.
"The indirect impact — including the impact of the capelin catch failure and other potential shocks — is more difficult to assess at this juncture. It will depend in part on how quickly and to what extent other airlines fill the gap left by WOW Air, and the extent to which economic policy and other policy actions mitigate the effects of the shock".
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According to the airline, which has put up a notice on its website saying "end of operation of Wow Air", these are passengers' rights.
"Passengers whose ticket was paid with a credit card are advised to contact their credit card company to check whether a refund of the ticket cost will be issued.
"Passengers who bought their ticket from a European travel agent (within the European Economic Area) as a part of a package tourcare protected by the Package Travel Directive. Those passengers are advised to contact their travel agent to arrange an alternative flight.
"Passengers who may have bought travel protection, or those passengers whose credit card terms may include such protection, may be entitled to claim compensation and assistance due to delays or travel disruption. However, such compensation is often limited.
"Passengers may also be entitled to compensation from WOW AIR, including in accordance with European regulation on Air Passenger Rights. In case of a bankruptcy, claims should be filed to the administrator / liquidator."
WOW Air's latest travel update shows that it has ended operations.
It states: End of operation of Wow Air
"WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled," it says.
On its website it advises passengers to check available flights with other airlines.
Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances. Information on those airlines will be published, when it becomes available, it says.
Iceland's WOW has issued a travel alert.
It says it is in the final stages of finalising an equity fund raising raising with a group of investors.
"All flights have been postponed until documentation with all parties involved have been finalised," the airline said.
All passengers have been informed via text message/email to the contact details listed in the booking. Passengers scheduled on flights to/from Iceland with WOW air on Thursday March 28th are entitled to cancel their reservation for a full refund or change their reservation to the next available WOW air flight, the airline said.