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The spoof airline that could actually predict the future of travel

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Iceland's new carrier Mom Air offered free seats on every flight, standby tickets and fares subsidized by hotels. It was a spoof, conceived by an artist -- but aviation industry insiders say some of his ideas were good

As the aviation industry struggles to remain afloat, with airlines hemorrhaging money left right and center, it came as a surprise to see the "launch" of Mom Air, a soon-to-be-skyward airline (or so the website promised), connecting Iceland to both sides of the Atlantic.

Having been adamant that this was a real airline, both to journalists and fans in a "launch press conference," and to the lawyers representing WOW Air (which has plans to relaunch), after just 15 days, he confirmed it was an art project.

"I got 6,000 bookings, 200 complaints, two comments per minute on social media" (CNN cannot verify these claims, although 10,000 people watched the airline's 41-minute "launch" video on Facebook).

At the "launch press conference," Friðriksson -- the son of a marketing expert, and who once designed WOW Air's beer cans -- said that the two free seats on every flight were a device to raise brand awareness.

Regarding putting everything on sale, right down to the toilet paper, he said that by charging for extras, Mom Air would "lower the cost of the actual seat. "

Paul Simmons, executive director at Blue Islands, a Channel Islands-based low cost airline which has taken over some of the defunct UK airline Flybe's routes, thinks that some of Mom Air's "policies" were decent.

Simmons -- who has also worked as CCO for Flybe, Malaysia Airlines, and Air Arabia, and was head of brand marketing at EasyJet -- says that the two free seats per flight had legs.

He was also intrigued by Mom Air's claim that hotels would part-pay for passengers' flights -- again, Friðriksson said, for publicity.

Instead of paying commission to online travel agency sites such as Booking. com, Mom Air's idea was that the hotel would contribute to the flight of the passengers who booked with them.

A company that handles marketing for a major European airline said that they wanted to add Mom Air to their portfolio.

Icelandic press even reported that the lawyer for the defunct WOW Air called him a "talented man" and suggested he turn his attention to helping them get the airline back up and running.

Mom Air may have done its big reveal, but Friðriksson says that some fans are not willing to accept the truth.

And although he has no desire to actually launch an airline, he thinks Mom Air might not be too far from the truth of future low cost flying.

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