PLAY Launches Iceland-Canada Flights
Airlines Routes

PLAY Launches Iceland-Canada Flights

DALLAS — Iceland’s newest startup airline, PLAY (OG), has announced that it will increase its reach in North America by opening its first-ever service from Reykjavik (KEF) to Toronto in the summer of 2023. The carrier has never flown regularly to Canada before.

This new route, starting on June 22, 2023, will offer connections to 15 destinations in Europe, making it OG’s fifth destination in North America. According to the airline, “The addition of Toronto to our network is the natural next step for PLAY, as the success of our other North American destinations has exceeded expectations.”

Interestingly, the airport chosen to handle the arriving flights of OG from KEF is not the main Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ), but the smaller and secondary port of the city, Toronto Hamilton Airport (YHM). The reason behind this is the size and convenience of YHM, which reduces operating costs and helps PLAY offer cheaper fares on the route.

In 2022, the Icelandic LCC’s route network was composed of 25 destinations in Europe and North America. OG’s goal for this year is to expand to nearly 40 cities, placing itself in a strong position to compete with other carriers in the transatlantic market.

With a small fleet of just eight A320 family aircraft, PLAY is set to break the 35-route barrier by summer 2023. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

PLAY


An Icelandic low-cost airline with more than 20 aircraft, WOW Air (WW), was forced to cease operations in March 2019, leaving passengers stranded across Europe and North America. The demise of WW harmed tourism in Iceland, as the country lost overnight an important air transport company that, at its peak, could carry up to 1.6 million passengers through the country and encourage visitors to stay.

Because of that, two ex-directors of WW, Arnar Már Mangússon and Sveinn Ingi Steinþórsson announced the formation of a new airline to recover tourism to Iceland and beyond.

The first iteration of this new carrier was tentatively named WAB Air, which stood for “We Are Back,” but soon switched to the name we know today.

After a two-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first aircraft was delivered to the airline in May 2021, and the first services to London-Stansted (STN), among many other destinations, began.

With five Airbus A320neos and three A321neos, PLAY operates a low-cost economic model, offering cheap flights between Europe and North America with a stop in Reykjavik, placing itself in direct competition with not only full-service transatlantic airlines but also with its national brother, Icelandair (FI).


Featured image: The first Airbus A321neo is delivered in 2021. Photo: PLAY

ANWAviation
Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

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