PLAY Is Gearing Up To Start Operations – Here’s What We Know

PLAY is gearing up to begin its operations in a few months with the launch of its website. The airline hopes to keep a low profile yet maintain its analytical vantage point as it rides out the coronavirus. Here’s what we know so far.

PLAY Aircraft mock-up
PLAY has updated its website with additional launch information. Photo: PLAY

What is PLAY?

The time is coming ever closer for PLAY to launch its operations. The low-cost carrier based in Iceland was formed from the ashes of the now-defunct WOW. The brainchild of two previous WOW managers, PLAY is confident that it has learned from past mistakes and is ready to take the leisure market by storm.

CEO and Founder of PLAY Arnar Magnússon told Iceland Review,

“We’re building on [WOW’s] experience. We’ve got a lot of people who have a great deal of expertise in airline operations.”

Primarily, the airline will look at servicing routes between Iceland, the US, and Europe from autumn this year. It previously said that by this point, it hoped to be up and running already. However, due to the pandemic, it’s had to push back its start date.

PLAY in red
PLAY should have launched already, but it couldn’t due to the pandemic. Photo: PLAY

That’s actually worked well for the airline. Despite having to make a few changes, this period of reduced travel demand gives it the chance to assess its market before deciding where it trains its focus. PLAY still has a few months left before it needs to make that decision and also give a firm date for its launch.

What aircraft are in PLAY’s fleet?

PLAY has expressed great interest in the Airbus A320 family. It favors the model for its fuel-efficiency and reduced carbon footprint alongside the flexibility it gives to PLAY. With these aircraft, PLAY will be able to service a range of destinations from Reykjavik and Keflavik airports.

Unfortunately, even without starting its operations, PLAY has felt the toll of the coronavirus. It had planned to launch its services with two A321s that it’s leased. However, Simple Flying learns that the airline has since agreed with its lessors to take just one.

Despite this setback, PLAY has been able to coordinate its launch strategy and is now eagerly awaiting the green light to begin services. It’s been able to negotiate contracts for pilots and crew from trade unions with the majority of PLAY employees coming from former WOW.

WOW Airbus wing, TF-WOW
Many of PLAY’s employees and expertise come from WOW. Photo: Getty Images

Where will PLAY fly?

The specifics on PLAY’s launch have been slightly vague, but given the uncertainty in the industry right now, it can be forgiven. PLAY will start by using its bright red A321 to operate within Europe. It’s already got six destinations lined up from Reykjavik and Keflavik.

PLAY could fly to one of the following destinations as a launch city. Photo: Great Circle Mapper

However, PLAY has not decided which of the destinations will be the first one it flies too. PLAY wants to feel out the market and its demand before rushing into a decision. However, the destination it chooses to launch with could be one of the following:

  • Alicante, Spain;
  • Copenhagen, Denmark;
  • London, UK;
  • Paris, France;
  • Tenerife, Spain.

Once it has launched in Europe, the airline plans to look at US services at the end of the year.

More questions than answers

Despite the excitement over its much-awaited launch, PLAY is most certainly taking a cautious approach in revealing details. It still must define its launch date and launch city. Furthermore, it has said it would begin services with an A321 and hopes to add more aircraft in due course. However, it is unclear what aircraft it plans to invest in and how many.

All these questions remain to be answered, yet that doesn’t stop us fantasizing about where the airline will fly and how well it will do.

Are you excited for the launch of PLAY? Where do you think it will fly to first? Let us know in the comments.