May 14 was a big day in the history of PLAY, but they are a little shy to mention it. A simple post in the company’s social network accounts announced that the Iceland transport authorities had granted an AOC to Play.
Lanched after the demise of WOW Air in 2019, Play had the same vision with a slight difference. Play would not follow the unsustainable growth that WOW Air followed during its short life.
PLAY has attracted funding for 5 billion ISK or 24 million US dollars or 19 million Euro. The company published its shareholder’s list, and all of the most significant shareholders are from Iceland.
As for comparison, Air Belgium, which up until recently operated a passenger fleet of 4 Airbus A340, had as of the end of 2020 collected 21 million in investments.
The Belgian company, however, is not precisely similar. Its business plan nether focused only on scheduled flights. Part of its activity is AMCI charter flights to other companies. Providing this kind of service allow operating flights at a profit unrelated to the fact that there is a good load factor.
PLAY does not intend to follow that route and will be a pure scheduled airline.
New aircraft (almost)
The first aircraft of PLAY is already at Keflavik and wears the registration, TF-AEW. It’s now in the process of being painted in the colors of the new company.
It is going to be painted so we will receive it here in Iceland during the first days of June, to be ready for the first inaugural flight on the 24th. Then, we will have a second one in early July, and the third around the middle of July.Birgir Jónsson, CEO of PLAY
Like the two other Airbus A321 Neo that PLAY is expected to incorporate into its fleet, TF-AEW is leased by the dutch lessor AerCap. Those aircraft were initially delivered to Interjet in 2018 but were returned to AerCap in 2020 by the struggling Mexican carrier.
If Play stays close to the CGI representation, those Airbus will wear a shiny red livery with little white.
First flight to London
The next step for Play has been shared by Birgir Jónsson, CEO, to Simple Flying. The company will launch services to London Stansted with an Airbus A321neo on June 24.
It’s not a surprise as the London Market has always been important for Iceland-based airlines. Icelandair pre-pandemic used to flight multiple daily flights. The other destination is Copenhagen. Again this is no surprise. The other two previous Icelandic low-cost airlines, Iceland Express and WOW Air, also picked these two destinations during the startup phase.
Other destinations are the metropolis of Paris and Berlin and the sunny destination of Barcelona, Alicante, and Tenerife.
Tickets are on on sale for all these destinations. For PLAY, the die is cast.