Play Launches Flights to the US Next Spring

PLAY airline airplane Keflavík flight

The Icelandic airline Play will begin offering flights to the US next spring. The airline will add three new aircraft to its fleet next year.

Flights to the east coast starting in April

As reported by Business Insider, the Icelandic airline PLAY has received initial approval from the US Department of Transportation to operate flights to the US.

Tickets to the US went on sale yesterday. Play will begin flying to Washington/Baltimore on April 20 and Boston starting May 11. It will thereby become the third carrier to offer flights to the US; Icelandair offers flights to over a dozen destinations in the States, and the US airlines Delta and United are currently offering flights to the States in the summer.

Low prices, high demand

Speaking to RÚV yesterday, Play’s CEO Birgir Jónsson suggested that the airline would continue to focus on low prices – “a comfortable, clean, and secure way of transport,” as he remarked in his interview with Business Insider, as opposed to “an experience.”

“It’s always been our aim to operate according to this model,” Birgir said to RÚV. “We’ve seen that what matters most in this business are ticket prices and, therefore, operational costs. We believe that we can secure our place in the market by offering the lowest prices.”

Birgir added that he was not afraid of Icelandair responding to Play’s foray into the US market by lowering its prices – that lower prices would benefit all consumers. According to the flight schedule, Play will offer daily flights to the abovementioned destinations in spring, leaving Iceland in the afternoon and returning on the following mornings.

Great expectations

As has been widely reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the airline industry. Birgir remains hopeful, however, that the state of affairs vis-a-vis the pandemic will have improved by next summer.

“I think most of us expect the tourism industry to return to normal next summer, but like before, we must proceed cautiously; we’ll begin by offering flights to two new destinations and go from there.”

With the addition of the three new aircraft next year, Play’s fleet will number six aeroplanes, and four new aircraft are expected to be added in 2023. When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on the airline’s operations, Birgir stated that it’s had its effect but that bookings have been steady:

“All in all, we’re happy with the reception and how things have progressed.”

Icelandair and airBaltic to Codeshare Flights Across Atlantic

icelandair airbaltic

AirBaltic has announced a partnership with Icelandair in which the two airlines will “codeshare” to provide flights between Europe and North America. The agreement means that both airlines can sell each others’ flights. The stated purpose is to provide both airlines’ customers convenient access to Iceland, North America, and the Baltics.

“By connecting Icelandair’s route network to airBaltic, we offer our customers more options when it comes to connections in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe,” stated Bogi Nils Bogason, Icelandair’s CEO. “On the other hand, airBaltic customers can take advantage of important connections to Iceland and across the ocean to a number of our destinations in North America. The collaboration strengthens Keflavík Airport as a connecting airport and supports an increase in tourists.”

CEO of airBaltic Marin Gauss stated the codeshare flights from Keflavík may connect to Budapest, Prague and Warsaw via Riga.

Icelandair has previously “codeshared” with US airlines jetBlue and Alaska Airlines.