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A PLAYful Expansion: Amsterdam Is Next For The Icelandic LCC

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  • byChris Loh
  • September 25, 2021
  • 3 minute read

Icelandic startup PLAY has achieved a lot in its first few months of operation. Operating its first flight at the end of June 2021, the carrier now operates service to several major European cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, and more. Announced on September 23rd, the airline is proud to add the Dutch capital of Amsterdam to the list as it updates its winter schedule.

Play a321neo
PLAY’s first service flew passengers from Keflavik, Iceland, to London Stansted. Photo: PLAY

Twice-weekly to Amsterdam

It was on Thursday, September 23rd, that PLAY announced it would be adding Amsterdam to its winter schedule.

Flights to the Dutch capital will take place twice per week on Mondays and Fridays. While the airline is already taking bookings through its website, the inaugural flight to Amsterdam will only take place on December 3rd, with slots assigned at Schiphol airport.

“This addition to the flight schedule is due to increasing demand for flights to/from Iceland in line with the improving status of the COVID-19 pandemic.” -PLAY

kef-ams route
Transavia and Icelandair also operate services between the two cities. Photo: GCMap.com

PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson says that the airline has seen a significant increase in sales in the past few weeks, saying “…we can sense that people are willing to travel again. We think this is the perfect time to broaden our network in Europe and to offer our passengers low fares to and from Amsterdam.”

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US operations around the corner

PLAY’s establishment of an Amsterdam service will be great for travelers hoping to visit and explore Iceland or the Netherlands. However, the service will eventually become a gateway to the US for Dutch travelers and a gateway to Amsterdam for Americans. That’s because the airline will soon be launching US operations.

On August 20th, PLAY was reported to have submitted an application to the US Department of Transportation for a foreign air carrier permit and exemption authority. While the airline did not specify any particular routes, the carrier is seeking approval to carry passengers from Iceland and across wider Europe to any destination in the US (the wide breadth of the application is standard.)

Play a321neo
The airline exclusively operates the Airbus A321neo. Photo: PLAY

PLAY’s CEO has said previously that its US network is likely to comprise the cities of New York, Boston, and Washington, saying the following:

“You don’t have to be a genius to see that these are the major cities. I mean, it’s going to be New York, Boston, and Washington, these kinds of cities at least. Then we will see [if] we have some surprises.”

Once PLAY can establish routes to the US, it will follow the path of other Icelandic carriers in offering connecting transatlantic itineraries through its Keflavik hub. This has been a core part of Icelandair’s operations as well as something offered by airline WOW Air before it ceased operations, of course.

For now, however, connecting traffic will remain on the to-do list as PLAY continues to expand and strengthen its European network.

Have you flown with this airline yet? Or will you fly with them in the future? Let us know in the comments.

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Chris Loh

Deputy Editor – An experienced photographer and video producer, Chris is a journalistic natural. Degree educated with a wealth of traveling history, Chris’ insight into routes, networks, and alliances brings a depth of quality to his work that is hard to beat. His strong relationships with Middle Eastern and Canadian airlines make him an asset to the team. Currently based in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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