March 2, 2023

Take off! Play Airlines offers low-cost solutions in times of high inflation

Iceland’s low-cost carrier shares its greatest challenges and triumphs since launching during the pandemic in an inspiring interview with ITB Berlin News.

Play Airlines is soaring above the challenges of rising fuel costs and inflation with attractive prices and flexible booking solutions. CEO Birgir Jonsson explains how the low-cost carrier from Iceland is settling into the market.

You keep prices down while fuel costs are rising – how?
By encouraging passengers to be flexible. If you book your ticket long before you travel and look for less popular days, you will be able to get a very attractive price. The cost of traveling and fuel is rising and there is no point coming in and selling a few tickets for $20 to try to make people believe that we have invented a parallel universe. But we can offer very good prices, because we use the latest-generation aircraft which is very fuel-efficient for aircraft.

The key to our efficient network is that we can use all our aircrafts on all our routes. Furthermore, by offering economy class basic fares, you can be found online, because the lower the price you can advertise, the better you come up on meta search engines and flight portals.

So you don’t suggest booking last-minute as a way of trying to get the lowest possible price?
There is no rule for that. Trying to catch the cheapest airfare resembles winning the lottery. The environment is very dynamic, especially since the introduction of artificial intelligence and bots. But in general, I think that most airlines would start low, increase and then try not to dump their prices when it gets closer to the departure date.

Low-cost-airlines often face the prejudice that there is a lack of transparency when it comes to things like baggage, snacks and seat allocation. What it is like at Play?
Would you pay for a dessert at a restaurant if you didn’t want one? That’s the same for getting onto an airplane. You don’t have to pay for specific things if you don’t want them. So we are absolutely transparent.

What sets Play apart?
Play is innovative, casual and cosmopolitan – yet with an experienced crew, a brand-new fleet and high safety. Make it low-cost, high quality. Furthermore it connects Europe as well as the USA with one of the most amazing destinations worldwide: Iceland.

Hall 20 / Stand 200d

Photo: Birgir Jonsson, CEO of Play Airlines