Air France now has a secondary marketplace for airfare tickets, will WOW air survive the winter?

Posted on October 24, 2018 by in Travel Deals

– I have been mentioning a ‘reseller marketplace for non-refundable airline tickets’ to airlines for some time and now Air France has taken the plunge on this

The value proposition is clear – customers will more likely buy a ticket if they can get (some) money back if they decide to resell a ticket. Sometimes they may even make a profit! You can buy/sell almost anything in a secondary marketplace (i.e. concert tickets) but not airline tickets as airliens impose restrictions for name changes.

Airlines can only overbook a small percentage of the flight without running into issues (that’s especially an issue in a high season demand scenario were every seat gets sold).

However the current implementation FlexFly is presenting is poor (even for a beta). There are precious few tickets on offer and they seem rather expensive. I’m confident a start-up airline that pushes this a way to sell more tickets quicker (to improve their cash flow) will eventually succeed. However Air France will likely kill their secondary marketplace off in a few weeks when ‘Revenue Management’ goes on a stampede. Let’s see.

– I’m not so confident that WOW Air will be around after the coming North Atlantic winter (with low yields usually)

The airline is cutting three routes to the US entirely and cutting Dallas and JFK to seasonal (there is still a Newark service).

Icelandic LCC WOW Air is adjusting services on North American routes and plans to cancel three US services from Reykjavik Keflavik to Cincinnati (Ohio), St. Louis (Missouri) and Cleveland (Ohio). Flights to New York JFK and Dallas (Texas) will become seasonal services.

PR project manager María Margrét Jóhannsdóttir told ATW the changes were made because “the routes did not achieve profit targets set by the airline.

There is talk that the New Delhi route performs very well as it gets a lot of connecting passengers. WOW Air is selling Round Trip tickets for under $500 from India to the US in a market where the typical far rarely dips under $600-$650. Indian consumers are very price sensitive (as are Chinese consumers).

Maybe this will be a lifeline for WOW Air after the legacy airlines have decided to kill the trans-Atlantic LCCs with sub $300 Round Trips from the US to Europe.