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Iceland's WOW Air to reduce fleet, cut 111 jobs

Iceland's WOW Air to reduce fleet, cut 111 jobs
FILE PHOTO: Skuli Mogensen, CEO of WOW air, poses with cabin crew members during a delivery ceremony of his first Airbus A321neo, during the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo   -   Copyright  Pascal Rossignol(Reuters)
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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW air, which is in talks with U.S. private equity fund Indigo Partners about a potential investment, said on Thursday it would reduce its fleet to 11 aircraft from twenty and cut 111 jobs.

Indigo is managed by Bill Franke, the veteran U.S. low-cost airline investor, and has also made investments in U.S.-based Frontier Airlines, Mexico’s Volaris, Chilean carrier JetSmart and Hungary’s Wizz <WIZZ.L>.

“After a challenging year, WOW air is now restructuring and simplifying its operations to return to its roots as a profitable ultra-low cost airline while discussions with Indigo Partners progress,” WOW Air said in a statement.

It said it was in negotiations with its lessors to return some of its aircraft including all Airbus A330s. Four Airbus A321s are being sold in a transaction that will improve its liquidity by more than $10 million, it said.

WOW Air will have around 1,000 employees after the job cuts, it said.

Indigo and WOW Air have not disclosed any details about their talks, but WOW Air has said that CEO and primary shareholder, Skuli Mogensen will remain a principal investor in WOW after the deal.

Icelandair <ICEAIR.IC> last month scrapped its plan to buy the privately-held airline.

(Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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