Wow Air started up in Iceland in 2011 and things really started to take off for the airline from 2013 as Iceland enjoyed a tourist boom, due to increased air access, a devaluation of the local currency and a sustained international marketing campaign.

But today the company went bust and the budget airline has ceased operations with immediate effect.

The airline was founded by Icelandic entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen and it grew dramatically, more than doubling the amount of passengers it carried within its first couple of years.

Wow Air spread its wings to Dublin in 2015 when it launched a new year-round Dublin to Reykjavik service.

Its three flights a week were the first scheduled service between the two capital cities.

That service proved the springboard to Wow offering low cost transatlantic flights from Dublin to Boston and Washington in the US, via Reykjavik, with prices beginning at €149 one-way.

A year later in 2016, the US service from Dublin via Reykjavik was expanded to San Francisco and to Los Angeles.

At the time, Mr Mogensen predicted Wow Air annual passenger capacity would more than double to over 1.8 million, up from about 840,000 in 2015.

From having 16 destinations in 2015, the airline flew to 36 destinations in Europe, North America and Asia by 2018.

However, the rapid expansion came at a cost in recent years and the company’s finances have been experiencing some turbulence.

Wow Air posted a pre-tax loss of almost $60m in the first half of 2018.

Cash flow came under pressure due to stricter terms from creditors and the airline had also been reducing the size of its fleet.

By this year it had reduced its fleet from 20 to 11 aircraft, eliminating several destinations, including those to the US, and cutting 111 full-time jobs.

Mr Mogensen had been seeking investors and a takeover had seemed likely by domestic rival Icelandair, but it scrapped its plan to buy Wow in November last year.

No explanation was provided for the change of heart, but Wow Air was believed to be in even worse condition than previously thought.  

Then a deal with US-based private equity fund Indigo Partners was agreed, but that also collapsed, before Icelandair came back into the picture in the last week.

However, those talks stalled and any hope of salvaging the airline, in whatever form, were finally extinguished this morning when a final attempt by Wow Air to finalise an equity deal with investors collapsed, prompting the immediate ceasing of operations.