A former WOW air executive is launching an all-new Icelandic airline, PLAY

Nov 5, 2019

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Following the collapse of Iceland-based ultra low-cost airline WOW air earlier this year, a former executive of the now defunct airline has announced plans to launch an all-new Icelandic airline called PLAY, with ticket sales to apparently commence later this month, and operations next year. The airline, however, does not at this point have aircraft or the necessary authorizations, and it doesn’t have a route network, either.

Arnar Már Magnusson, who was vice president of operations at WOW air, will head up the new venture, as announced at a press conference in Iceland earlier on Tuesday. He plans to commence operations next year, with two Airbus A321 aircraft, from Reykjavik’s main Keflavik Airport (KEF) initially to six different European destinations. Later in 2020, PLAY plans to also fly to North America, connecting passengers both to and from the popular but highly seasonal tourist destination of Iceland, as well as between Europe and North America, as Icelandair already does, and WOW air did before it ceased operations. PLAY has plans to grow to 10 aircraft within three years, which was the same fleet size as WOW air.

The new venture does not yet have an operating certificate, so it remains subject to significant regulatory approvals, though this morning they announced they have already received around $40 million in funding, primarily from overseas investors, according to local media. One of those investors is Simon Whitley-Ryan, grandson of one of the founders of Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-fare airline.

PLAY’s website is already live at flyplay.com.

This new venture is separate from the plans of eccentric U.S. businesswoman Michele Ballarin to relaunch WOW air as a cargo-only airline, which was previously reported by TPG. That airline is currently scheduled to commence flights next month. When and if “WOW 2.0” commenced operations, this will be separate from the PLAY concept.

Featured image from PLAY Facebook page.

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