Following the collapse of WOW Air in March 2019, Iceland lost a considerable part of its incoming travelers, and the aviation community in Iceland was hit heavily.
WOW was a great idea and a great adventure in this usually bland aviation business. It did not spot people that use to be involved in WOW to be involved in another aviation business.
Part of the former WOW management team wants to relaunch an airline on the same basis but with another name: Play.
The new Icelandic airline has some big ambitions and some concrete 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 any confusion: this project is not the relaunch of WOW. There is no relation with WOW except the people involved in this new venture. Still, many points in its strategy are taken from the now-defunct Icelandic transatlantic low-cost carrier.
American investors purchased the WOW Air brand. They now try to restart an airline with the same name but not with passengers. That’s the subject of the 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 months, they studied the possibilities of setting up a new airline with the same roots as WOW Air. In the end, they came up with the Play project and are in search of investors.
What are their ambitions?
As WOW did, the main goal is to connect Western Europe with North Americas with the Airbus A320 family aircraft and the Airbus A321 for North American flights. Nothing new on this part of the plan.
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 color and the short name are also part of the marketing plan, which is very close to WOW.
One of the untold but obvious objectives of this startup is to replicate the business plan of WOW without making the same mistakes. In other words: colorful, bold but reasonable, and patience for growth.
What have they setup up to now?
The company is looking for investors and in the first phases of setting up their AOC with the Icelandic regulators.
Most of the information available now comes from their conference to attract investors, and little is published on their website.
This phase of a startup is not the more cash-intensive. Paperwork is the stage where many paper airlines lost their mind and soul. Hopefully, Play’s Team will be able to find the financing to implement the subsequent phases.
Would they be able to take off? Hard to say. The hype about Iceland is slightly faded since the collapse of WOW air. The latter benefited from the tourist boom that followed the volcano eruptions, 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 had 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.