The Rise And Fall Of Iceland's WOW Air : Planet Money A budget airline, WOW Air, helped fly the tiny island nation of Iceland out of a financial crisis — but then it all came crashing down.
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The Rise And Fall Of Iceland's WOW Air

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The Rise And Fall Of Iceland's WOW Air

The Rise And Fall Of Iceland's WOW Air

The Rise And Fall Of Iceland's WOW Air

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/766609057/766629281" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
A picture taken on August 6, 2018 shows a Wow plane on the tarmac of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport, north of Paris (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this year, the independent Icelandic airline WOW Air went bust, leaving thousands of passengers stranded on both sides of the Atlantic. For the people of Iceland though it signalled something potentially much more catastrophic.

WOW Air had become a pillar of Iceland's tourism industry, which had helped save the country from ruin following the 2008 financial crisis. When the airline collapsed, it revealed just how unstable that tourism bubble had been.

In the first of our two-part series on Iceland, The Indicator examines how the fall of a budget airline brought an entire country's economy to the brink of disaster.

Music: "Í Gær", "Hjartað Hamast (Bamm Bamm Bamm)", "Ný Batterí"

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