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Iceland’s MOM Air – early April Fool’s joke or marketing trick?

The new airline already announced tickets going on sale on November 9, 2020. Is the launch of MOM Air a practical joke or a marketing move?

In a recently published website the start-up airline positions itself as a “super low-cost” carrier, offering “a cheap alternative in air transport and services”. 

On November 9, 2020, within hours after the launching of flights booking, the airline’s official website (momair.is) crashed as the server could not handle the high traffic. The company announced it would hold a press conference on November 11, 2020, which will provide more information on its operations, employees, fleet, and more. 

The air carrier, that uses the slogan “Everyone wants to be in their mother’s arms”, announced it would operate a fleet of six Airbus A320neo. “Progress in the epidemic has ensured us cost-effective long-term agreements with foreign parties on our machinery options, with the possibility of adding more machines next year.”

The newly launched airline is planning to operate flights between Iceland, Europe, and the US with extremely low prices. Very similar operational model as well as the visual identity, has been used by another Icelandic airline – WOW Air. However, on March 28, 2019, WOW Air went bankrupt. 

MOM Air denied any formal connection to WOW Air. 

What draws attention to the new airline is its gender equality policy and the claim to take part in educational projects. “We will have a 50% if not more female staff, filling various roles, from captains, managers, ground control, and more,” announced the airline. 

The company’s website also states that all in-flight services will be optional. Passengers would have to pay for services starting with food, that MOM Air calls “mommy food”, to toilet paper. 

“All in-flight services will be optional. Whether it’s mommy food, reading material on board, charging for electronics, internet, luggage space, toilet paper, hand soap, choice of seats and much more. In this way, we will break new ground in Icelandic aviation history with low prices and services.” 

Other unusual policies include “COVID and Non-COVID flights”. People who are quarantined, infected, exposed, or have antibodies, could travel on the coronavirus flights, while other flights would be for those that would not fit into the first group. 

“MOM air is a new airline on the market as has been stated and is in full seriousness behind the project. It is not uncommon for a new airline to hit the market trying to undermine its plans publicly”, announced the company on its website. 

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