PLAY is an Icelandic LCC startup. It originally planned to operate services to destinations in the United States and Europe, filling a void in the Nordic market vacated by the bankrupted WOW air. This remains its goal according to its website, but initially the airline will only serve European destinations primarily for Icelandic tourists. The airline forms an important platform to help replace the connectivity formerly provided by WOW, but with more conservative growth plans.
PLAY, previously known as WAB air (“WeAreBack”), was founded by former WOW air executives, with Avianta Capital originally holding a majority stake in the new venture. The start-up had expected to launch in Summer 2020 but delayed the commencement of operations to 2Q2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In Apr-2021, a share offering raised USD47 million, largely from Icelandic financial institutions, and a new CEO and board were appointed. The airline received its air operator's certificate (AOC) from the Icelandic Transport Authority on 16-May-2021, then finalised A321neo lease agreements with AerCap and Airbus that month. PLAY launched twice weekly Reykjavik-London Stansted service with A321neo equipment on 24-Jun-2021, followed by six other European destinations in Jun- and Jul-2021.
Play plans to grow the company's fleet to six to eight A321s in 2Q2022 and to operate more than 10 aircraft by 2023.
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