Iceland’s PLAY Airlines is ready to fly. The carrier received its operating certificate from Icelandic authorities and officially registered its first aircraft. It expects to have three planes in service in the coming weeks.
Founded by veterans of defunct WOW Air, the carrier aims to replicate that airline’s initial operating model, using single-aisle aircraft to connect passengers between North America and Europe. It secured slots at Dublin, Stansted and Gatwick for Summer 2021 operations. Stansted is tipped as the initial route though details on the full route network remain unclear.
First aircraft in Houston
The company’s first aircraft, an A321neo registered TF-AEW, currently sits at a maintenance hangar in Houston, Texas. formerly flew for Mexico’s InterJet. Once repainted it will ferry to Iceland to begin commercial service.
It remains to be seen what, if any, of the interior fittings remain from the InterJet era. But the plane does have Panasonic Avionics‘ eXConnect Ku-band satellite wifi internet service installed.
Also unclear is when it will gain access to the US market. It cannot apply for access until it holds certification from local authorities. With that in hand the DOT paperwork can be filed. Typical turnaround time for those applications is 4-12 weeks. Some Congressional leaders have pushed back against new LCC upstarts gaining access to the US market, but that may be tied more to the flag of convenience argument than just being an LCC.
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