Skúli Mogensen segir í tölvupósti til starfsmanna að það hafi verið mistök í rekstri Wow air að taka í notkun breiðþotur og hefja sölu dýrari farrýma og fleiri lúxusviðbóta.
Flugfélagið hafi misst sjónar á sinni upphaflegu hugsjón, ofur-lággjaldaflugi, og verið farið að haga sér eins og hefðbundið (e. legacy) flugfélag.
Skúli segir þessi mistök, sem skrifist alfarið á hann sjálfan persónulega, hafi næstum því orðið flugfélaginu aldurtila, en reksturinn hafi farið síversnandi síðustu mánuði.
Hann segist því vilja – með hjálp Indigo Partners sem nýs fjárfestis í Wow – færa sig aftur til hinnar upphaflegu hugsjónar, og byggja félagið upp að nýju sem lággjaldafélag með áherslu á löng flug.
Skúli segir þær erfiðu ákvarðanir sem taka hafi þurft vera reiðarslag, en sem kunnugt er hyggst félagið minnka flugvélaflota sinn um nánast helming.
Pósturinn í heild sinni á ensku:
After an incredible journey since founding WOW air seven years ago, we are now faced with the biggest and most difficult restructuring in the history of the airline which includes making some very tough decisions.
This involves significantly reducing our fleet from 20 to 11 aircraft and not taking delivery of the four A330neo, scaling back our operations accordingly and therefore I am very sad to say laying off a large number of people.
This action is devastating given the hard work all of you have been doing and I wish there was any other way possible. We have looked at multiple possibilities but unfortunately this reduction is the only credible way we can see to save WOW air and build a foundation that we can grow from again.
I am deeply sorry for having to take this extreme action since it will affect many of you dedicated WOW employees and a large number of consultants and temporary hires. However, I sincerely hope you will understand that this is necessary in order to save the remaining almost 1000 jobs at WOW air and allow us to continue to fly to and from Iceland and across the Atlantic.
We are going back to our roots as an ultra-low cost airline and focus on our core business which served us so well in our first years up until 2017. Instead of sharpening our ultra-low cost model based on the success of 2015 and 2016 we started complicating our business by adding the wide body aircraft and introducing Premium and Comfy products which is far from our original vision. In short, we lost focus and started behaving like a legacy airline.
These mistakes have almost cost us the company as our losses in 2018 have escalated in recent months due to poor financial results. It’s very important to note that I cannot blame anybody but myself for those mistakes as I personally championed the A330 fleet expansions, premium seating and to fly further east and west.
This is a very painful lesson since at the same time we have built something unique with WOW air and while this will require us to take one difficult step back in the short term, I am convinced it will enable us to take two steps forward in the long term and ensure that WOW air will thrive in the future.
With the prospect of getting Indigo Partners as our investors I want to go back to our original vision and demonstrate that we can indeed build a great low cost long haul airline.
For what it’s worth I want to thank you and I also want to make the promise that once we start growing again you will be the first that we will welcome back.