What better time to launch a new low-cost airline than in the middle of a worldwide pandemic? But that’s precisely what investors at the upcoming PLAY airline plan to do.
PLAY plans to start flying in the fall, serving European destinations first – think London, Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen. After that, they plan to add destinations in the United States, such as New York and Boston.
PLAY seems following the early years of WOW’s playbook. That could be because at least 10 of their executives are former employees of the now-defunct WOW.
The airline’s CEO, Arnar Már Magnússon, was originally a pilot with WOW and eventually became its operations director. He said, “Mistakes were made within WOW Air which cost them, but the company did very well for a time. We have been looking a lot at its setup in 2015 and 2016, when the fleet and the operation was simple.”
Its simplicity might be the key to the carrier’s success while the travel world is trying to negotiate travel with COVID-19. The airline plans to begin operations with one aircraft, most likely something from the Airbus A320 family, and then grow from there. They don’t plan to operate wide-body planes like WOW did, as it increases costs.
Magnússon says PLAY would have started flying already, if not for coronavirus. They already have 36 employees on board, are sufficiently financed and expect to receive their Air Operator Certificate (AOC) soon.
“All the work behind the scenes is done, but there’s so much connected to COVID that there has been something of a delay,” said Magnússon. “But in a good place. We’re working very closely with the Icelandic Transport Authority on these matters. As things stand now, it’s really difficult for us to determine [when we should start flying], just as it is for most [airlines], but we have a number of scenarios regarding when the first flight will be and, in fundamentals, we’re ready for it.”
For more info, go to PLAY’s website.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary