Startup stories

Will Play be the new WOW ?

One year after the collapse of WOW air, will we see a remake take off ?

Following the collapse of WOW Air in March 2019, Iceland lost a huge part of its incoming travellers and the aviation community in Iceland was hit heavily.

WOW was a greate idea and a great adventure in this usualy bland aviation business. It did not spot people that use to be invovlved in WOW to be involved in an other aviation business.

Part of the management of the bankrupt wants to relaunch an airline on the same basis but with another name: Play.

The new Icelandic airline has some big ambitions and some solid goals. It could have been WOW 2 as they won’t be shy to re-use some ideas that WOW implemented.

Who are they?

To avoid confusion: this is no the relaunch of WOW and has no relation with anything of WOW except the people involved in this new venture but many points in its strategy are taken from the now-defunct Icelandic transatlantic low-cost carrier.

The WOW Air brand was purchased by american investors that now try to restart an airlien with this name but not with passenger. That’s the subject for other article.

After the demise of WOW in march 2019, two former members of the management of the defunct airline ( Arnar Már Magnusson CEO of PLay was the VP of operations of WOW) formed the project WAB Iceland with WAB having the meaning of We Are Back.

For a few month they studied the possibilities of setup a new airline with the same roots as WOW Air. In the end they came up with the Play project in a search of investors.

What are their ambitions?

As WOW did, the main goal will be to connect East with West or Europe with North Americas with Airbus A320 family aircraft and the Airbus A321 for North American flights. Nothing new on this part of the plan.

At first, the airline will focus on Iceland to Europe flights and grow the fleet up to six aircraft. At that level, they will investigate the feasibility of North American flights.

The bright red colour of its branding and the short name of the airline are also part of the marketing plan which again is very close to what WOW was proud of.

One of the untold but obvious objective of this startup is to replicate the business plan of WOW without doing the same mistakes. In other words: collorful, bold but reasonable and patience for growth.

What have they setup up to now?

From now, the company is in the process to find investors and also in the first phases of setting up their AOC with the Icelandic regulators.

Most of the information available now comes from their conference aimed to attract investors and little is published on their website.

This phase of a startup is not the more cash intensive. Paperwork is the phase were many paper airlines lost their mind and soul. Hopefully Play’s Team will be able to find the financing to implement the next phases.

Would they be able to take off? This is difficult to say. The hype about Iceland is slightly faded since the collapse of WOW air. The latter beneffited form the tourist boom that followed the volcano erruptions which put Iceland on the map of the world.

But this is not all the concern we can have on this project. The sale of ticked has not started yet when it was supposed to do so in November.

Time will tell if Play instigators will be able to press the Play button.

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