WOW Air is suspending its Cork to Reykjavik service from October, just five months after its launch.
The Icelandic low-fares airline confirmed last night the route, launched in May as a year-round service and which offered onward flights to the US, is being “suspended” for the winter months.
It is understood that low demand for seats on the route is to blame.
A decision will not be announced until later this year on the future of the service as the airline finalises its summer 2018 schedule.
The airline has also cancelled a small number of flights from Cork in September and early October.
“Affected customers have been informed and offered to rebook on another flight from Cork, to rebook on our Dublin services, or a full refund. Most passengers have rescheduled for another day,” said a spokesperson.
“Wow Air will continue to operate its Cork to Reykjavik summer season service until October 27 next, at which point the route will be suspended for the winter season. A decision on Wow Air’s plans for summer 2018 from Cork will be made later in the autumn.”
Wow Air became the first airline to operate a direct scheduled service between Ireland and Iceland when it launched its Dublin-Reykjavik service two years ago.
The airline said it will continue to operate this service up to nine times per week.
The planned suspension of the Cork service comes as a blow to airport management who have announced a string of new services in recent months, including Cork’s first direct transatlantic service with Norwegian Air to Providence near Boston.
Wow Air launched the Cork to Reykjavik route in May, with airport and tourism chiefs hailing its transatlantic connectivity, via Reykjavik, to destinations across North America including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington DC.
It operated on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, and was due to operate three times a week during winter.
Seanad leader Jerry Buttimer commended airport management for the recent positive announcements but said it was a bitter disappointment to lose the route for the winter.
“It makes the transatlantic connectivity provided by Norwegian Air all the more important and highlights the importance of a substantial marketing fund to drive the promotion of this route on both sides of the Atlantic,” said the Cork-based senator.
*This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.