Remember when Icelandic discount carrier WOW Airlines went bust and ceased operations in March of 2019? Well, a new low-cost airline in Iceland has risen from the ashes of the former company’s bankruptcy. It’s called PLAY Airlines and this new kid on the block of Iceland airline companies is causing excitement in industry circles.

PLAY Airlines is the new discount Icelandic carrier replacing WOW Air

At a press conference held by company representatives in Reykjavik’s famous Perlan building, they made the big announcement. They unveiled a new name as well as some details about the company’s proposed operations.

WOW Airlines Iceland and PLAY Airlines 

For the uninitiated, let’s give a quick history lesson. For a long time, the two main Icelandic airlines were WOW Air and Icelandair. The latter was the country’s national airline while the former was a budget carrier. It became famous during a viral marketing campaign in which they offered $1 fares between North America and Europe.

People basically went crazy and WOW Airlines’ cheap flights to Iceland became famous overnight. But eventually, they became a budget airline casualty when talks with Icelandair fell through and they were unable to raise much-needed funds. They abruptly canceled all flights and ceased all operations, leaving employees and customers in the lurch.

But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, one of the airlines that fly to Iceland has been resurrected.

Icelandic Airlines: PLAY Airlines

One of the biggest, most immediately noticeable differences between the two airlines is the color chosen for the new airline’s brand. They’ve traded WOW Air’s signature magenta shade for a bright red hue. All of the planes in its fleet are painted this eye-catching color. CEO Arnar Már Magnússon explained that they chose red to “represent passion” as well as Iceland’s fiery nature. After all, Iceland is nicknamed The Land of Fire and Ice thanks to its explosive volcanoes.

The new leader also shared what the company has been up to during the last four months in preparation for the big launch plus plans for the future. It should be noted that Magnusson previously served as WOW Airlines Vice President of Operations. Hopefully, he’s learned from the mistakes of his former company and will not repeat them with PLAY Airlines. The more airlines in Iceland the better, as it keeps competition healthy and prevents monopolies from forming.

Icelandic airlines like PLAY will make travel to Iceland more accessible


From Then to Now

Thus far they’ve received around $40 million in capital. this comes mostly from overseas investors including, Simon Whitley-Ryan. Ryan Has the aviation business in his blood as he is the grandson of one of Ryanair’s founders. The Irish carrier is the largest low-fare airline in Europe.

Investors to resurrect the airline, and is taking things step by step. They plan to first begin by transporting cargo and then eventually move on to operating passenger flights as well. PLAY is in the process of obtaining its operating license and is nearing the end of that process.

The Airbus A320 jets that they operate can carry passengers or cargo both shorts to medium-range distances. For the time being, they will only fly to six destinations in Europe. Long-term plans include expansion to North America in the spring when the airline increases its fleet to around six aircraft.

With the limited number of airlines to Iceland, this will be a welcome addition. After the WOW collapse, there was no other Iceland-based low-cost Airline for consumers to choose from. Goals are ambitious and they hope to operate up to 10 aircraft in the first three years, including transatlantic flights.

PLAY Airlines is giving away free plane tickets to Iceland


Free Airline Tickets to Iceland 

Yes, you read that right. I said free. if you’ve been researching airline tickets to Iceland and stumbled upon this article, then today is your lucky day. The company’s website is up and running and later this month ticket sales will begin. As a promotion, PLAY Airlines Iceland is giving out 1,000 free plane tickets to kick off the start of operations next year. Its hub will be Keflavik International Airport (KEF), just outside of Reykjavik.

Would-be travelers can register on their website ( to enter the pool for free airline tickets. Winners will be drawn at a later date.

Additionally, the new airline will need large numbers of support staff to fill many different open positions within the organization. Everything from cabin crew and pilots to positions in customer service, marketing, finance, and more are available. This can help fill the gaping hole left for the 1,000 employees who found themselves without a job when WOW closed down.


PLAY Airlines: soon to start operating

The airline has recently launched their website and confirmed they expect to start operating this August. Their fleet will include Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft with a capacity of 140-240 seats.

Airlines in Iceland: PLAY Airlines

So now you know what airlines fly to Iceland and what to expect in the coming years from PLAY Airlines. Let’s see if they can stay out of the financial trouble that WOW encountered and have better luck in the Iceland budget airline market. We wish them the best of luck as they take off and hit the skies. Happy travels!

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