Icelandic Low-Cost Carrier Play Gets One Step Closer to Launch

Icelandic Low-Cost Carrier Play Gets One Step Closer to Launch
Joe Cortez

In time for trans-Atlantic aviation to recover, Icelandic low-cost carrier Play is preparing to take delivery of their first aircraft. The airline is expecting their first Airbus A321neo by the end of May, outfitted to carry just under 200 passengers.

In another sign that trans-Atlantic travel could be preparing for recovery, an airline coming out of the remnants of WOW Air is expecting their first aircraft by the end of May 2021. Iceland Monitor reports the international low-cost carrier is preparing for their first flights aboard their Airbus A321neo.

Aircraft Outfitted for Around 200 Flyers, With Plans to Fly to U.S. in 2022

According to the airline, Play’s Airbus A321neo aircraft will be outfitted to fly just under 200 passengers to provide additional comfort. The airline is planning to add two more A321neo airframes by July 2021. In the meantime, Play’s pilots are currently going through flight simulator training in the United Kingdom in preparation for the inaugural flights.

Although the airline is not expected to begin operations to the United States until January 2022, Play is aggressively moving forward with plans to start flying this year. The carrier is expected to receive their air operator’s certificate the week of May 10, 2021. In the meantime, the next steps include securing additional long-term leases on aircraft where Play would pay for block time, or the operating time between departure and arrival.

The announcement comes after Play closed the first of two fundraising rounds planned for this year. Iceland Review notes the airline successfully raised $40 million from investors, lead by a group of major Icelandic investment companies and a pair of pension funds.

Play Launch Comes as Trans-Atlantic Travel Prepares to Reopen

The good news for Play comes as airlines are preparing for trans-Atlantic flights to reopen. With leaders from both the United States and the European Union are discussing reopening plans, airlines and analysts say prices may return to pre-pandemic rates as inventory grows. With low-cost airline Norwegian Air discontinuing American flights, Play could enter the market to fill the market void.

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