Ready for transatlantic flights that cost under $200?

While the kind of discount airlines that Europe enjoys have not caught on in the United States, an Icelandic carrier named WOW Air will soon offer inexpensive transatlantic flights. WOW aims to capitalize on Iceland’s geography which serves as an efficient stopover on two-leg journeys from Europe to the U.S.

Having a middle point to land planes at allows WOW to use the industry’s most efficient airplane model, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. The plane’s small size and light design, with a fuselage made of carbon composites, reduces fuel costs.

Using the Boeing 787 will allow the company to best its main competitor, Norwegian Air Shuttle, which uses the European designed and built Airbus. With a transatlantic flying time of 20 hours, the Airbus consumes more fuel than WOW’s 14-16 hour flights, leading one to believe the company will offer the most competitive ticket prices.

By next year, WOW plans to offer destinations in Boston and Washington-Baltimore. After an initial discounted price of $99, current tickets go for about double that. Still, that’s much cheaper than most alternatives.

This is exactly the kind of competition that can help the airline industry move forward, says Richard Schaden in his Big Think interview:

Read more at the Economist

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