The former chief executive of US budget carrier Spirit Airlines is joining the board of Icelandic low fares airline Wow Air.

Ben Baldanza joined Spirit in 2005 and led its transition to an ultra-low-cost model while developing a reputation for bold and edgy marketing campaigns.

Baldanza started his aviation career with American Airlines, Northwest, Continental, Taca and US Airways before joining Spirit where he was chief executive and president.

The appointment comes amid rapid expansion for Wow Air with new destinations for 2016 including Bristol, Edinburgh, Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Founder and chief executive, Skúli Mogensen, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Ben Baldanza to our board of directors.

“The success of his tenure at Spirit Airlines has earned him enormous respect in the airline industry and his expertise and insight will be invaluable as we continue to grow Wow Air’s network on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Ben is someone who understands the needs of a growing ultra-low cost airline and he is passionate, as we are, about offering the opportunity for anyone to travel the world.”

Baldanza said: “Wow Air is an airline rewriting the rules of low cost, long haul travel and I look forward to joining Skuli and the members of the board in growing the business further in years to come.”