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New Airline Or Elaborate Hoax? Iceland’s MOM Air Startup

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In what seems like a very-poorly-timed April Fool’s joke, Icelandic budget carrier WOW Air could be back as MOM Air – for real… well… maybe. We’ve talked about WOW Air’s comeback in several articles now, and it’s ‘2.0’ version might just be the same name… but flipped? Let’s turn the story upside down and take a look.

MOM Air
Except for the aircraft silhouette in the middle remaining ‘upright,’ the MOM Air logo is an exact reflection of WOW Air’s logo. Photo: MOM Air

What is MOM Air all about?

While the airline’s press release makes zero mention of its predecessor, MOM Air’s business model sounds identical to WOW Air. For those unfamiliar with WOW, the purple Icelandic budget carrier connected Europe and North America via its hub at Keflavik Airport in Iceland for ultra-low and ultra-basic fares. Here’s what the new airline has to say about itself:

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“MOM air is super-low cost airline based from Iceland and will carry passengers to and from Europe and the USA. Our main destinations are located in Europe and the States.”

According to MOM, long term financial security for the newly launched airline has been secured in cooperation with foreign and Icelandic investors.

MOM Air
The carrier aims to connect the United States with major European cities with extremely low fares. Photo: MOM Air

An extremely basic airfare

For anyone familiar with flying ultra-low-cost airlines, it’s understood that everything except the actual flight (and perhaps having a small bag under the seat in front of you) could end up being an extra charge. This definitely seems to be the case for MOM Air.

The airline’s press says that all services onboard will be optional, listing the following as examples:

  • “Mommyfood” (Whatever that is?)
  • Reading materials,
  • Charging for electrical devices
  • Internet
  • Luggage space
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Selection of seats “and more.”

Some of the items, like food, seat selection, and luggage space, are nothing new for budget airlines – but toilet paper and hand soap?! We don’t often use exclamation marks and question marks together, but in this case, it seemed fitting. If this information is correct, it will take budget-air-travel to a whole new level – and something sure to cause conflict with travelers who failed to do their homework before boarding the flight.

MOM Air
Can’t read Icelandic? The airline says the first two seats on every flight will be free! Photo: MOM Air

It gets even crazier

The airline’s press release goes on to note a few more never-before-seen policies.

Firstly, MOM Air will make the first two seats on each flight free. The airline’s booking system will offer the option to search for the free seats first.

Secondly, MOM will offer both “COVID- and Non-COVID flights.” It says that quarantined individuals, those infected, or have immunities to covid, are allowed to fly together.

WOW Air A320
While the new MOM Air has never explicitly stated that it’s a revival of WOW, the situation seems pretty obvious. Photo: Oliver Holzbauer via Wikimedia Commons

So many questions…

MOM Air’s unveiling to the world certainly leaves us with more questions than answers. Thankfully, the airline says it will hold a press conference on November 11th – just a few days from now. Hopefully, we’ll have some more clarity with what’s going on.

Apparently, bookings will begin on November 9th, with flights launching as early as March 1st, 2021.

Unfortunately, a lot of the information provided points to this being an elaborate hoax- especially the COVID and Non-COVID flights. You wouldn’t be blamed for second-guessing yourself because, well, who would go through so much effort for a joke?

According to the Reykjavik Grapevine, this is all a hoax. The publication alleges that this is performance art and copyright violation (of WOW Air’s intellectual property) all rolled into one. The publication had contacted MOM Air asking about a connection to WOW. They replied that there was ‘no formal connection.’

So, then, we’ll just have to wait and see how all of this unfolds.

What’s your reaction to MOM Air? Is this an elaborate joke, or does the airline intend to break new ground and operate on a completely original and unconventional business model? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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