Play rises from the ashes of WOW as new Icelandic carrier


The founders of Iceland’s newest airline have announced that Play will be the carrier’s name and they have also revealed the airline’s striking red livery.

Play is due to commence commercial cargo-only operations in December and will initially lease Airbus A320 medium-range jets. However, the company has yet to obtain an air operator’s license, though it is understood the final stages have been reached. Initially, Play will fly to six European destinations this winter using two A320s, while six of the aircraft are expected to be in service by the summer. Play intends to add four destinations in North America to the schedule by the spring. By 2023 Play hopes to have ten operational aircraft.

Avianta Capital, owned by Aislinn Whittley-Ryan, the daughter of Michael Kell Ryan, one of the founders of Ryanair, will take a 75% stake in the new carrier in return for providing US$40 million in capital to ensure continued operations for a minimum of three years. The remaining 25% stake will be held by Neo, owned by PLAY founders Arnar Már Magnússon, former director of airline operations at WOW Air, Sveinn Ingi Steinþórsson, former director of the economic division at WOW Air, Bogi Guðmundsson, lawyer at Atlantik Legal Services and board director of BusTravel, and Þóroddur Ari Þóroddsson, who previously worked in London as a consultant in the aircraft trade.  

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