Bankrupt WOW Air To Relaunch As PLAY

WOW air is rising from the ashes once again, but this time with a firm plan in place for its relaunch. At a press conference held this morning in Iceland, broadcast by, details of a potential replacement have been revealed. Calling itself PLAY, the new Icelandic airline has some big ambitions and some solid goals.

The new airline. Image: PLAY

Flying before 2020

Already the airline has chosen the A321 as its launch aircraft of choice. According to its new CEO Arnar Már Magnusson, this is a good fit for its initial destinations with good fuel efficiency. The airline is targeting both passenger and freight operations and will carry some 200 passengers per flight.

As with the old WOW air, the airline is talking about flying both east and west of Iceland, to the US and to Europe. However, the initial operations will focus on Europe with just a couple of A320s, with a view to growing the fleet to six by spring. Once it reaches that magic number, it says it will be investigating US routes with a view to being operational in time for the summer.


Although there is great work already being done, the CEO says that there are still many things left to do. The airline, he says, does not yet have it’s AOC, but is well on the way to getting one. The airline is yet to reveal a firm launch date but says it plans to start flying within Europe before the end of this year. By spring 2020, it expects to have six A320 family aircraft and to begin services to the USA.


A brand reminiscent of WOW

While the airline has chosen red as its main livery color, it harks back to the boldness of the old WOW brand. The lettering too of the chosen name PLAY is somewhat characteristic of the former LCC.

With positivity in mind, the airline is planning to start selling tickets later this month. As part of a launch celebration, it will be giving away 1,000 tickets for free, although it’s not entirely clear how this will work just yet.


The airline is set to announce its first destinations within the next few days. It recommends interested passengers register on the mailing list at for announcements for routes and sales. Prices, it says, will vary by dates and destinations but, “PLAY will provide strong competition in the Icelandic market and strive to offer the best prices at any given time.”

The new airline’s website says that “the sky is our playground”, and describes its mission as,

“PLAY is a new Low Cost Airline operating to and from Iceland. PLAY will provide affordable travel in new Airbus aircraft. PLAY is in everything we do, with professionalism at the core. At PLAY, safety comes first, with our core principles being on-time performance, simplicity, happiness and low prices.”

Experienced airline professionals

Headed up by Arnar Már Magnusson as CEO, a previous employee of WOW air, PLAY says that the management team is made up of experienced aviation professionals. Included in the team are Þóroddur Ari who is co-owner and Sveinn Ingi who will be CFO.

Revealed at the press conference, the new airline has already received some $40m from an investment fund owned by Aislinn Whitley-Ryan, a descendant of the founder of Ryanair.


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Sam Rittler


Tim Patterson

Do we REALLY need a new airline? After wow died (appropriately) other airlines like AA swooped in to more than fill the gaps.


Yes please! LCCs have completely revolutionized air travel in Europe…the more the merrier 🙂


yes AA and others are definitely competitive in the LCC space…..


I was supposed to fly with Wow with my entire family from Chicago to London & back. I lost money on all my 4 tickets to a tune of $2500. Wow didn’t even bother to refund, they just shut down. I am so disgusted. How do we know same thing will not happen here?


Did you not have travel insurance?


Dispute the credit card charge?

Hein Vandenbergh

Nothing quite like re-launching a recently failed airline – which really is what this is, same personnel in key positions even – in an environment of economic decline/stagnation/uncertainty. And that’s not even considering the number of airlines, some very long established, which have recently bitten the dust. It all sounds ill-advised to me, if not an outright con. All new 321s??? Were are they going to be found? That’s a lie in itself!!


Thinking about it, Iceland is quite a good spot for a transatlantic low cost carrier; -High aircraft utilization. Flying to Europe in the morning, North America in the afternoon and returning to Iceland overnight. Aircraft are flying for longer and earning more cash. -Ranges are shorter. You can use common narrowbodies like the 737NG and A321ceo without forking out for expensive widebodies or specialist aircraft like the A321LR, since ranges to Europe and the US East coast are less than other stopover destinations like the Azores, Lisbon or Dublin in terms of great circle routes. -Mix of customers. Transatlantic travelers,… Read more »


Play is nothing to do with WOW, the crazy NRA lady purchased wow air and all the assets. Play may have former employees but give it a chance and stop judging before it starts. To fly.