Iceland’s defunct low-cost transatlantic carrier WOW air (WW, Reykjavik Keflavik) will apparently be revived by USAerospace Associates, a company chaired by Michelle Roosevelt Edwards, otherwise known as Michelle Ballarin.

It will start flying between Iceland and Washington Dulles under the WOW air brand from October, Ballarin revealed at a press conference held at the Hotel Saga in Reykjavík on September 6. The relaunch will initially be with two aircraft, potentially rising to between 10 and 12 by summer 2020, the online newspaper Vísir reported.

USAerospace Associates will take a 49% stake in the business, Ballarin said, while investors in Iceland will hold the rest of the capital to comply with European Union airline ownership rules.

However, the company will be based at Dulles, which is also where USAerospace Associates is headquartered, with a presence at Reykjavik Keflavik. It will operate under a United States Air Operator's Licence (AOL) using both Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Ballarin said. Further destinations are being discussed but will be broadly similar to the earlier WOW.

A previous attempt by Ballarin and USAerospace Associates to acquire the assets contained within WOW air's bankruptcy estate fell through at the end of July when payment to secure the deal was not transferred. Oasis Aviation Group, another Dulles-based company headed by Ballarin, was initially linked by Icelandic media to that first attempt. Ballarin said in an interview with the newspaper Morgunblaðið at the time that the deal would be worth ISK12.5 billion króna (USD99 million).

According to the Washington Post, Ballarin's business interests have ranged over the years from weapons production to horse breeding, and she maintains strong business and personal ties with Somalia. Oasis offers passenger, cargo, and military cargo flights between Washington and Djibouti, including services for the US Department of Defence and other US government agencies, according to its website.

At the Hotel Saga press conference, Ballarin said that the purchase included WOW's uniforms, computers, marketing materials, and other assets, but she did not disclose the payment amount. However, she did say that USD85 million would be spent getting the carrier up and running. Besides commercial passenger flights, cargo flights are also planned including seafood transport from Iceland to the US.

Despite operating on a low-cost model, passengers on the newly resurrected WOW may be treated to meals created by a three-star Michelin chef as well as passenger lounge experiences, the Reykjavik Grapevine reported Ballarin as saying.