What Exactly Is Going On With Airlines In Iceland? - The Reykjavik Grapevine

What Exactly Is Going On With Airlines In Iceland?

Published November 7, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Main photo by
Play's Facebook page

A new budget airline was formally announced earlier this week. Called simply “Play”, it hopes to fill the gap left behind by the collapse of WOW Air last March, with plans to fly to Europe and North America as early as next spring. To kick things off, they intend to have a 1,000-ticket giveaway this month and announced that they are now hiring.

Wait, what happened to WAB Air?

The director of Play is Arnar Már Magnússon, who used to be the director of flights for WOW Air. At a press conference held at Perlan last Tuesday, he revealed that Play is more or less the final form of WAB Air. And that WAB is an acronym, for “we are back”.

Arnar also took pains to emphasise that the financing for Play absolutely is not coming from Simon Whittley-Ryan, the son-in-law of one of the founders of Ryan Air. Rather, a large part of the financing is coming from a British investment fund, without going into further details. In fact, 80% of Play’s funding is from abroad.

Hang on, wasn’t WOW Air coming back?

Michele Ballarin, the president and CEO of private military company Select Armor Inc. and who also operates Cambridge Wealth Management Ltd., had designs on resurrecting WOW Air by mid-October. That did not come to pass, for a variety of logistical reasons, we are told.

However, in late October it was announced that WOW Air would be up and running again in just a few weeks, but with a twist: the airline will be strictly for transport; not commercial passengers.

If you’re confused, don’t worry. You have every right to be. We’re confused by this, too, but also inured to it. After all, you can only hear so many grandiose announcements of returning success before you adopt an “I’ll believe it when I see it” stance to manage your expectations.

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