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Icelandic discount airline launches $249 flights from Canada to Europe

Discount airline WOW Air has unveiled a plan to fly from Montreal or Toronto to Iceland for $ 99 one way, then on to numerous destinations in Europe for an extra $ 149.

Those prices include all applicable taxes and fees, but only represent one leg of the journey to Europe and back.

The Icelandic carrier says the service via Reykjavik will begin out of Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau on May 12 and out of Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson airport on May 20.

Both services will operate year round, with departures on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Launched in 2011, the airline has grown quickly and has offered discount flights to European travellers for several years. But the move announced Thursday is part of the airline’s plan to do the same in the opposite direction, and luring North American travellers eastbound. 

It launched that plan earlier this year with cheap flights out of Boston’s Logan airport and Baltimore Washington International.

“When we announced our U.S. routes last year, we promised that it was just the beginning of our growth into North America,” the airline’s owner, Skúli Mogensen, said in a release.

The strategy seems to be working as WOW says its passenger loads were up by 45 per cent in June and August compared to the same period last year.

“We have just had our best summer ever and, with these new routes launching in May 2016, next summer is another chance to break records. These great Canadian cities will become our newest destinations but I look forward to announcing even more in the not-too-distant future,” Mogensen said.

The airline’s 20 destinations include London, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Dublin.

The airline says its Canadian toehold represents an investment of about $ 60 million, and will create about 100 jobs between the two Canadian airports.

CBC | Business News

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