Yesterday, Icelandic startup carrier “Play Airlines” revealed several images of their freshly painted Airbus A321neo registered TF-AEW. The images showed the exterior of the aircraft sporting a vibrant red color with the word “play” written in bold white letters across the fuselage, resembling the conceptual images of the plane released back in 2019. Play Airlines is expected to start service in just 10 days from the writing of this article, with its inaugural service being from Keflavík International Airport in Iceland to London Stansted Airport on June 24. The low-cost carrier will operate full economy flights on its planes, and each plane will be able to carry up to 192 passengers with each seat offering a 34 inch pitch.
The A321neo that Play Airlines will be operating is however not a brand new aircraft off the Airbus production line. Play airlines has rented an aircraft from the aircraft leasing company “Aercap” to save costs. Along with this plane, the Icelandic carrier is still awaiting 2 more Airbus A321neos deliveries from Aercap, totaling to a fleet of 3 aircraft to start with. The aircraft that Play Airlines has already received is 3 years old and used to fly for the now-defunct Mexican airline “Interjet.”
In the weeks following the inaugural service from Iceland to London, Play Airlines is also planning to open up more routes to countries in Europe. The airline has already announced the launching dates to several more European destinations such as Denmark, Germany, France, and Spain. Most of these routes will begin in July when the airline receives its other 2 planes. At the end of July, Play Airlines should be flying to 8 airports between the 6 countries it will serve. Play will operate its routes 4 times weekly, although the airline has plans to increase the flights to daily operations soon. Base airfares on Play will cost around 30 to 60 euros, but there will be fees for many other things such as checking in bags and bringing carry-on items. It is still unsure which locations Play may serve later, as information regarding routes to North America or other possible places hasn’t been disclosed yet. There were plans to introduce 4 more routes to North America in the Spring of 2020, but the unexpected pandemic halted any ideas.
More About Play Airlines
Play Airlines was originally an idea from 2 former WOW air executives to bring back a low-cost airline to Iceland after the collapse of WOW air in March of 2019. WOW air was another low-cost airline that operated out of Iceland. In July of 2019, shortly after the collapse of WOW air, the two executives announced the formation of a WAB (We Are Back) air, but the airline was later renamed to Play airlines in November of 2019. Play’s business model and plans were then announced shortly, and unsurprisingly, they were similar to those of WOW air. Play plans to only operate Airbus A321 aircraft right now. Play Airlines intended to start operations in 2020, but the pandemic delayed those plans until the summer of this year. Fortunately, in April of 2021, Play Airlines received a $40 million investment fund from several Iceland investing firms to help the airline get off the ground and start its business. One month later in May of 2021, Play Airlines obtained an air operator’s certificate from the Icelandic Transport Authority, which authorized the airline to be able to transport passengers. Play Airlines is now starting operations in just over 1 week from now.
With Play’s new plane reveal, it is great to see a new airline emerge within the aviation industry, especially after the pandemic almost drove several airlines to bankruptcy last year. Hopefully, Play Airlines will operate successfully throughout the next few years and go down a different path from WOW air. As of now, Play’s vibrant red planes will grace the skies and be a colorful new sight to see at airports. Maybe in the future, Play airlines may even become a key or major carrier of Iceland, but we will have to see.
- Play Airlines (Cover photo)