PLAY Air's First Flight Slated For London In June Skip to content

PLAY Air’s First Flight Slated For London In June

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

Photo: PLAY air. From left to right Halldór Guðfinnsson, Andri Geir Eyjólfsson and Friðrik Ottesen preparing TF-AEW for its first flight.

Low-cost airline Play has acquired an Air Operator’s Certificate, one of the final hurdles to start operating aircraft for commercial purposes. First introduced at a press conference in November 2019, the airline’s first flight is now slated for London Stansted Airport in June.

The stated goal of Play airline is to “provide a low-cost alternative for consumers travelling to and from Iceland, as well as across the Atlantic, and to become a key player in the Icelandic tourism sector.” The airline is now one step closer as an Air Operators Certificate is a prerequisite for operating aircraft for commercial purposes.

The airline’s first aircraft, Air­bus A321 Neo was registered with the Icelandic Transport Authority over the weekend as TF-AEW, reports. The new plane is being branded with the Play colours before it will be flown to Iceland, ready to take on its first flight. The plane is the first of three Play has secured with AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft leasing company.

While the official website still states that tickets will be on sale soon, Play CEO Birgir Jónsson has confirmed that the airline’s first flight will be to London Stansted by the end of June. The other planes are scheduled to arrive in the country in July. He has previously stated that Play’s destinations are to include the largest cities in Europe, London, Copenhagen and Paris, as well as Alicante and Tenerife. They were also open to planning flights to the US before the end of the year.

The airline first made headlines for its ambitious goals and bold branding in 2019, shortly after the fall of WOW air. While the airline’s first flight has repeatedly been delayed, CFO Sveinn Ingi Steinþórsson told a year after the announcement that the delay was a blessing in disguise and that the effects of the global pandemic were levelling the playing field for new players on the airline market. Play obtained landing permits at three airports in London and Dublin in November last year and successfully raised more than USD 40 million through a private share offering in April.  This latest addition of the air operator’s certificate means that the airline is finally fully operational.

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