• Joe Breitfeller

Iceland’s PLAY Airlines To Make Debut on Thursday With Inaugural Service to London Stansted

Founded in 2019, Iceland-based low-cost carrier Play Airlines will make their passenger revenue service debut on Thursday, June 24, 2021 with service between Keflavík International Airport and London Stansted.

PLAY Airlines Airbus A321neo - Courtesy PLAY Airlines

On Tuesday (June 22, 2021), Iceland’s new low-cost carrier (LCC) Play Airlines announced that their inaugural passenger revenue flight between Keflavík International Airport (KEF) and London Stansted (STN) will take place on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Founded in 2019 by Arnar Magnússon, PLAY is a new LCC which will operate flights between Iceland and Europe, as well as on trans-Atlantic long-haul routes. The carrier announced on May 16, 2021 that they had received their Air Operators Certificate and the airline unveiled their cabin crew uniform program on June 8, 2021.

PLAY Airlines’ basic Flight Fare includes one personal item with a maximum weight of 10 kg and maximum dimensions of 42x32x25 cm, including handles and wheels. When booking, customers can select and purchase extras such as a carry-on bag + priority boarding, checked baggage, seating assignments and other ancillary services. PLAY has introduced a COVID-19 Flexibility Policy to ensure guests can book with confidence. Customers who book flights before August 31, 2021 can change travel dates free of charge, though a fare difference may apply. Travel dates may be changed up to 48 hours prior to departure to any date or destination up to March 31, 2022.

On June 8, 2021, PLAY Airlines introduced their new cabin crew uniform program which was created by designer couple Gunni Hilmars and Kolla, who created a fresh take on what has traditionally been a more formal line of clothing. In the uniform announcement, the designers said,

“We were honored and pleased to get to work with PLAY on this clothing line for their uniforms. We really wanted to throw out all those old ideas about airline uniforms and bring in more comfort. We tried to scrap the constrictive rules often associated with these uniforms and include relaxed fits, stretchy fabrics and of course, shoes meant for working on your feet! The result is a mix of active wear and a fresh uniform.”

Also commenting on the new uniform range, PLAY’s Chief People Officer, Jónína Guðmundsdóttir, added,

“It was really satisfying to see how well Gunni and Kolla got our brief and our ideas for this line. We had certain ideas about the clothing and how it should represent and work with our brand and the results are just amazing.”

Meet the PLAY Airlines Leadership Team

Birger Jónsson, CEO

Play Airlines' CEO Birger Jónsson - Courtesy Play Airlines

Birger Jónsson has extensive experience in international management and operations and served as Ossur’s Regional Director in Asia, CEO of Iceland Express and later Deputy CEO of WOW Air. He also lived and worked in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary where he was CEO of the Infopress Group, one of Eastern Europe’s largest printing companies. Birger also served as the CEO of Iceland Post and has been involved in business transformation and restructuring across a wide range of industries. Mr. Jónsson holds an MBA from the University of Westminster in London and a BA from the University of the Arts, London.

Arnar Magnússon, Chief Operations Officer and Founder

PLAY Airlines' Founder and Chief Operations Officer, Arnar Magnússon

Arnar Magnússon has over 14 years of leadership and management experience in the aviation industry and worked for WOW air for six years prior to joining PLAY. While at WOW, he held various leadership positions including Vice President of Operations/Accountable Manager and Director of Flight Operations. Additionally, Magnússon graduated as a licensed pilot from Oxford Aviation Academy in 2007 and served as WOW air’s Chief Pilot, Captain and Training Captain, as well as a Captain for Ryanair.

Daníel Snæbjörnsson, Chief Network Officer

PLAY Airlines' Chief Network Officer, Daníel Snæbjörnsson - Courtesy Play Airlines

Mr. Snæbjörnsson previously served as a manager within the network planning and scheduling team at Icelandair. Between 2014-2019, he served as Vice President of Network Planning for WOW air. Prior to joining WOW, Snæbjörnsson co-founded Altitude Aviation Advisory, a UK-based aviation industry consultancy. From 2007-2013 he served as a Consultant for Avia Solutions/GECAS and as an Aviation Analyst at Ascend Worldwide from 2006 to 2007. Mr. Snæbjörnsson also worked in operations for Íslandsflug and Air Atlanta Icelandic from 2004-2005. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and later received a master’s in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University. Daníel Snæbjörnsson also has an Icelandic Private Pilot’s License.

Georg Haraldsson, Chief Commercial Officer/Chief Information Officer

PLAY Airlines' Chief Commercial Officer/Chief Information Officer, Georg Haraldsson - Courtesy PLAY Airlines

Georg Haraldsson has diverse international experience having worked six years as Ecommerce and Distribution Manager for Iceland Express, the country’s first LCC and as Ecommerce Manager for Dohop for a year. He also served as Regional Managing Director and Regional Sales Director in the Middle East for Marorka for several years, as well as Product Director for Valka and CCO at Iceland Travel. Before joining PLAY, Mr. Haraldsson served as Chief Information and Digital Officer at Posturinn, Iceland’s national postal service. Haraldsson holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a master’s degree in International business from Reykjavik University, in association with IE Business School in Madrid.

Jónína Guðmundsdóttir, Chief People Officer

PLAY Airlines' Chief People Officer, Jónína Guðmundsdóttir - Courtesy PLAY Airlines

Jónína Guðmundsdóttir served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources at WOW air from 2015-2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on tourism from the University of Akureyri and later earned a master’s from Strathclyde University, where she focused on tourism and hospitality. Prior to joining WOW, she worked for the IT service company Advania, where she was the Human Resource Manager from 2012-2015. She also worked in recruitment and as an HR consultant for Capacent from 2005 through 2012.

Þóra Eggertsdóttir, Chief Financial Officer