Indigo Invests 9.4 Billion ISK in WOW Air

The investment company Indigo Partners will invest 9.4 billion ISK (75.88 million $, 67.23 million €) in the airline WOW Air. This was revealed in a statement on WOW Air’s website earlier today. The two companies have agreed in principle on the deal, as certain conditions have to be met for the completion of the transaction.

Indigo Partners and WOW Air made a temporary agreement on November 30, after there was a breakdown in a previous agreement between Icelandair and WOW Air. It has now been revealed how large Indigo’s investment is, and how it will be performed.

Following successful completion of due diligence, Indigo Partners will acquire shares in WOW Air. Indigo will also consider the possibility of issuing a new super senior convertible loan to WOW to fund the airline’s recovery. In total, assuming successful diligence, Indigo’s investment will be for an amount up to 9.4 billion ISK.

WOW Air bondholders will be contacted to ensure they consent to amendments of terms and conditions on the shares which they own. They will be contacted from today, December 14, to January 17. Any consent from shareholders will be declared void if the purchase has not been completed by February 28, 2019.

WOW Air’s CEO and founder Skúli Mogensen recently issued that the company’s operational model will be amended to a model similar to super-low-fare airlines that Indigo Partners normally work with. WOW Air laid off 111 full time employees yesterday, and around 350 in total. The airline’s aeroplane fleet will also decrease from 20 planes to 11.

Hera’s Here

It’s a rainy afternoon in Vancouver and actor Hera Hilmar has taken time out of her busy schedule to talk to Iceland Review. The young actor began making waves in Iceland only a few years ago, impressing in her starring role in the well-received Life in a Fishbowl as well as on stage. Now, she’s playing the lead role in an upcoming Peter Jackson blockbuster due for release this holiday season. It’s not your typical Hollywood blockbuster, featuring a clear environmental agenda and a strong but flawed female lead. Tackling her newfound fame effortlessly, you get the feeling Hera’s role as ruffian hero Hester Shaw has changed her, but not quite in the way you’d expect.

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Man Who Stole Sailboat ‘On a Whim’ Receives Suspended Sentence

A German man who stole a sailboat from the harbour in Ísafjörður in the Westfjords this fall has received a suspended sentence of three months in prison, RÚV reports. The man confessed to the theft and was cooperative during the resulting police investigation.

The man used a screwdriver to break into the Inook sailboat on the evening of Saturday, October 13th and then sailed it out of the harbour. By the time the theft was reported the next day, the man had sailed the boat from the Westfjords to Breiðafjörður, where the boat was spotted by a Coast Guard helicopter. The Coast Guard directed the man to sail to the harbour at Rif, a small fishing village on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, where he was arrested.

Vísir reports that the man told authorities that he’d stolen the boat on a “sudden whim” and had no explanation for his actions except that he’d been looking for a little adventure.

The man has been subject to a travel ban since he was arrested. In addition to his suspended prison sentence, he was also sentenced to pay just over one million krónur [$8,105; €7,132] in litigation costs.

Pastors “Fiercely Object” to Salary Freeze

hallgrímskirkja reykjavík

The Association of Icelandic Pastors has issued a strongly worded statement of protest against the so-called “wage council bill” which is currently under consideration in parliament. RÚV reports that among the bill’s provisions is one that would freeze church salaries until the Church of Iceland and the government come to an agreement about revised state contributions to the church.

In their statement, the board of the Association of Icelandic Pastors said that they “fiercely object to the plans to ‘freeze’ the salaries of bishops, suffragan bishops, archdeacons, and pastors of the Church of Iceland for an indefinite period of time.” Under normal circumstances, continues the statement, the salaries of the aforementioned religious leaders would be reviewed for increases every year, as salaries are in other professions.

In that there is currently no revised agreement on the table for the state’s contributions to the national church, the association says that is “unacceptable to link these together and put such conditions on the revision of the agreement and wages of those mentioned here,” particularly as these individuals “have no involvement in these negotiations.”

Therefore, the association asserts, the provisional bill “severely undercuts the legal protections that the current agreement guarantees” and should be “amended without delay.”

Students Raise ISK 1.5 Million for Local Search and Rescue Team

Students at Sunnulækur school in Selfoss, South Iceland, raised ISK 1.5 million ($12,153/10,697) for their local search and rescue team, Björgunarfélag Árborgar, Vísir reports.

The students raised the funds on a single day last week, their school’s Charity Day, during which they sold various handmade goods and ran a café. The 700 students at Sunnulækjarskóli selected the search and rescue team as this year’s fundraiser recipients themselves.

“We’re hugely pleased with this gift and it’s great that the students decided to support us and our work,” remarked Björgvin Óli Ingvarsson, who leads Björgunarfélag Árborgar. “We’re going to use the money to buy a new jet ski which will definitely be a great help to us,” he continued, noting that the students’ donation is among the nicest gifts that the team has ever received.

Icelanders Still Avid Readers

icelandic books

Icelandic women read an average of three and a half books a month, while Icelandic men read an average of two books during the same time. These are among the findings of a new survey conducted by the Icelandic Literature Center, which were released just in time for the country’s much-vaunted jólabókaflóð, or Christmas Book Flood, the annual surge in book publishing, selling, and gifting that happens during the holiday season.

The new data clearly shows that Iceland is still a nation of avid readers: 72% of the survey respondents reported that they’d read or listened to a book (either in full or in part) in the last 30 days. About 86% of respondents reported that they’d read a traditional printed book in the last 12 months, 31% had read an e-book, and 35% had listened to an audio book.

Most Icelanders, or 56%, turn to friends or family members for reading suggestions, although the media is also an important source of recommendations according to 40% of respondents.

Interestingly, young people aged 18-24 think it is more important than other age groups that Icelandic literature receives public support, although 79% of Icelanders across the age spectrum agree with this assessment.

The survey was conducted by Zenter Research from October 31 – November 12, 2018, during which time 2,480 individuals 18 years and older were asked questions on their reading habits, what languages they read in, where they get their reading recommendations, and more. In total 1,311 people responded.