New budget carrier PLAY Airlines postpones launch again

Wikimedia Commons, Davide Avelljshb

PLAY Airlines, a new proposed Icelandic low-cost air carrier, rescheduled its launch date. Having announced its plans to take off to the skies for the first time in November 2020, the start-up airline changed its mind. Due to the COVID-19 air travel restrictions, PLAY rescheduled the launch of operations for Q2 2021.

The new budget airline expected to launch its operations in Q2 2021, announced Arnar Mar Magnusson, the CEO, and owner of PLAY Airlines, in an interview with local media. Asked why the new airline had not begun operations yet, the CEO of PLAY pointed out to external market conditions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as the most significant factor.

The airline has rescheduled its launch date multiple times. Being founded in July 2019, PLAY Airlines was introduced to the public for the first time in November 2019. At the time, the management of the air carrier aimed to start ticket sales a few weeks later and have ten aircraft in its fleet by the end of /in  2021. However, the airline changed plans due to changes related to its equity. Then, in May 2020, the low-cost carrier reported its “solid plans to start flying“ in autumn of 2020. The new-founded company did not specify the exact date of the launch. 

“The company is sufficiently financed and expects to receive its Air Operator Certificate AOC [soon]”, announced the CEO of PLAY Airlines in a statement released in May 2020.

PLAY Airlines was founded by two former WOW air executives Arnar Mar Magnusson and Sveinn Ingi Steinporsson. The new airline was initially called WAB air, which stood for “We Are Back”. The company was aimed to operate six jets for 14 European and the United States destinations and should fill the market gap left after WOW air bankruptcy in March 2019. Founders of the new low-cost-airline expected that the startup would generate around $159 million in revenue by carrying a million passengers in 2020. 

WAB air was rebranded as PLAY Airlines in November 2019. The rebranded airline targeted to lease two Airbus A321 aircraft and operate six European destinations starting in the winter of 2019. 


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