PLAY CEO Anticipates A Fall Launch Date

Arnar Már Magnússon, the CEO of PLAY had yesterday announced that the airline is planning to start flights this fall. PLAY is a proposed low-cost carrier based in Reykjavik, Iceland. The airline was initially scheduled to launch services in the winter of 2019. However, due to an unavoidable delay in planning and the spread of coronavirus, the airline hasn’t launched any flights yet.

PLAY is all set to start flights. Photo: PLAY

Despite the hit of coronavirus on the airline industry, Magnússon has shared that the airline is sufficiently well funded and capable of launching flights. He said the following, as reported by Visir:

It has been very successful. We have spent the last weeks and months in the final preparation“.

How does the airline plan to operate?

The delay due to the pandemic is unexpectedly beneficial for the carrier. The airline has got extra time to prepare its operations and also to assess the competition. Referring to the circumstances, Magnússon added the below, as per the report.

Blessingly, it delayed us a little so that we will be better equipped when air travel begins again in earnest.

As of now, the company has 36 employees, many of whom are former WOW Air workers. The airline license has not arrived yet, but the airline expects that it won’t take long. The staff of the company also shares a positive outlook, having learned from past mistakes made in their former airline. Moreover, the firm has a sufficient number of pilots with an appropriate aircraft type rating.

WOW Air A320
Former executives of WOW air formed PLAY airlines. Photo: Airbus

The airline has planned to operate an all-Airbus A321 fleet configured for 200 passengers. The induction of aircraft through leasing was one of the primary reasons behind the delay of launch. However, the airline is confident that the leasing will be easier in the next few months as many airlines struggle to maintain a full fleet.

Given the unstable Icelandic aviation sector, PLAY was hoping to be the prime operator of European flights out of Reykjavik. It had announced last year that it would offer non stop services to Alicante, Tenerife, London, Paris, Copenhagen, and Berlin. However, due to the reduced demand post coronavirus, it is unclear as to where the airline will fly first.

Until the situation and the demand for air travel increases, PLAY will only fly a single aircraft. It will thereon assess the viability of adding another aircraft to its fleet and make a decision.

Will the airline be profitable?

The airline industry is one of the worst-hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is apparent that post-coronavirus demand will be more towards essential and business travel. For an airline to be profitable, analyzing the right routes and operating at the right capacity will be the key.

Icelandair is the flag carrier of Iceland. Photo: Icelandair

As far as PLAY is concerned, they surely do have the perfect aircraft. A321 will be a suitable option for short-haul routes with high demand. Although the aircraft is capable of reaching far off places, it is unlikely that there will be sufficient demand. Moreover, the airline will predictably be focusing more on domestic routes. Operating an international sector at a time like this might be risky for a new airline.

Is it right to start an airline this year? Let us know what you think in the comment section.