Low-Cost Icelandic Airline PLAY Expands With New Routes From New York to Europe

And for one week only, you can snap up tickets for $109

PLAY In Flight

Courtesy of PLAY

PLAY, the low-cost Icelandic airline founded by former executives of the now-defunct WOW air, is expanding its United States to Europe service with new routes from New York's Stewart International Airport. It will be the third U.S. destination for the airline, which previously announced routes from Boston and Baltimore, set to launch in April. PLAY launched last June with service between Keflavik Airport near Reykjavik to Stansted Airport in London.

PLAY's flights from Stewart Airport will depart to 22 European destinations, including London, Paris, Dublin, and Copenhagen. The first flights from New York will depart on June 9; to celebrate, the airline will be offering an introductory rate of $109 for all flights leaving New York booked before midnight EST on Feb. 7, 2022. The deal is valid for flights scheduled between September and October 2022.

Flights from Stewart Airport to Iceland's Keflavik Airport, Dublin and Brussels will run on Mondays between Sep. 5 to Oct. 24, 2022, with flights to Berlin, Copenhagen, and London running on Tuesdays between Sep. 6 to Oct. 25, and Paris and Gothenburg routes running on Sundays between Sep. 4 to Oct. 23.

The announcement further illustrates the rising budget carrier boom that has been rocketing throughout the pandemic. Despite the travel industry's ongoing turbulence, PLAY is just one of several low-cost airlines, including Breeze Airways, Avelo Airlines, Aha!, Airbahn, French Bee, and Norse Atlantic, which have announced a launch, already launched, or expanded their service in the past year.

"People might assume that launching an airline in the middle of a pandemic is a completely ridiculous thing to achieve," Birgir Jónsson, PLAY's chief executive officer, told TripSavvy. "But we've raised around $90 million and are extremely well-financed for a small company. Due to travel disruptions, we were able to build our fleet of brand new A321 aircraft for prices that are 20 to 25 percent less than they were before [the pandemic]. If you're crazy enough to do something like this and you have finances in place, there are a lot of benefits."

Jónsson emphasizes that PLAY is a "digital-first" company and has not experienced issues hiring talent, despite reported labor shortages among other airlines. "[Digital] skill sets are available, which wasn't the case two or three years ago," said Jónsson. "We are pretty confident that we have timed this perfectly."

PLAY's all economy cabins—no business class is available—offer different flex spaces, with in-flight meals available for purchase. Since their June 2021 launch, the airline has flown over 101,053 passengers on more than 1,000 flights within Europe.

Article Sources
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  1. Fly Play. "More Than 100,000 Passengers in the first Six Months." Retrieved January 31, 2022.

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