New Icelandic Airline Taking Off

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic almost every airline is facing significant financial difficulties. One of them is Icelandair that aims to raise 150-200 million USD through sale of new shares. At the same time investors are willing to put money into a new Icelandic airline.

Play is hoping to start operation this autumn. Credit: Play

It was early last winter when two former directors at WOW air announced their plans to start a new low-cost airline. The company was named Play and the plan was to start operating flights in the beginning of 2020.

Today the group behind Play must be relieved that they didn’t manage to maintain that plan, as Covid-19 came soon after to lay ruin to the economy and the operation of most airlines. 

Therefore Play is now working in a completely diff­erent environment, both in regards to compe­tition and specially when it comes to leasing.

“The situation in the lease market has changed a lot over the last two or three months. Rates are completely diff­erent from the beginning of the year since now thousands of aircrafts have become homeless. Today you can lease an aircraft and only pay for hours being flown and also very favorable terms on all guar­an­tees,” says Skúli Skúlason, Chairman of the Board of Play, in an interview with Vidskipta­bladid, an Icelandic Icelandic business media.

Play intends to build its fleet on Airbus just as WOW air did, but only on A320. 

Play’s chairman says the comp­any’s first flight is scheduled for October, but reiterates that there is no need to start flights during the winter months when the number of tourists is reduced. “It costs a lot to grow if you do it too fast, but I think we wouldn’t rush too fast if we had six to eight aircrafts in the spring, even more.” He added that if conditions are right, the company could also have up to fifteen aircraft next summer.

Today, 36 people work for Play and the chairman says the operation will cost between 200,000 and 300,000 euros per month.

It is not known where Play will fly. The comp­any’s orig­inal plan was to start regular flights to Copen­hagen, Berlin, London, Alicante, Tenerife and Paris. Later, the plan is to start flights to North America — to New York, Boston, Baltimore and Toronto.