Ultra low-cost carrier PLAY has revealed where in the United Kingdom it will be flying from next. The Icelandic firm already links London/Stansted with its Reykjavik/Keflavík hub, offering connecting onward options to four destinations in the United States.
Encouraged by progress at the Essex airport, PLAY has said Liverpool's John Lennon facility will be its second UK gateway. While tickets go on sale for the new service from today (April 5), the inaugural from the Merseyside airport won't be until November 4, 2022.
PLAY has confirmed that Liverpool forms part of its winter schedule and the route will operate twice weekly until April 2023. The prospects for any extension into the summer season are currently unclear, but likely to be assessed based on the performance of its initial offering.
Birgir Jónsson, CEO of PLAY, said: “The UK has always been a particularly important market for us, so to announce a second route within a year of launching is an exciting milestone for the company.
"We look forward to welcoming passengers from the North West region and beyond, to help them on their journey to Iceland or to the USA. We are a no-frills airline, but with our reliable and affordable flights, PLAY’s passengers can spend their hard-earned money in their holiday destination, rather than on getting there.”
The all-Airbus operator is famed for its bright red narrowbodies, drawing parallels with the business model of former Icelandic ULCC WOW Air, which ceased passenger operations in March 2019. The firm has three A320neos in its fleet, with this number due to rise to six for the upcoming summer peak.
PLAY was established in November 2019 and launched its first revenue flights in June 2021. In addition to leisure markets across Europe, the carrier also has Washington, Boston, New York and Orlando on its American route map.
Promotional one-way fares from Liverpool to the Floridian gateway are currently on sale from £149.99, however this is for the most basic product, with no checked luggage, bag selection or onboard food. Once some or all of these optional extras are added, a return ticket can easily reach £500, which can be close to fares charged by more traditional legacy airlines. Travellers keen to stay a little closer to home can get as far as Keflavík for £59.99 one-way, again with the usual ticketing caveats.
Paul Winfield, Director of Aviation Development for Liverpool John Lennon Airport, added: “It is fantastic to welcome such an exciting airline brand as PLAY, and Reykjavik as a new destination to the Airport’s expanding route network. Iceland is a destination which we know will prove popular with our passengers, along with the airline’s excellent connections to the USA.
"North America is one of the most popular destinations for North West consumers and it is great that passengers from across the region will soon be able to fly from Liverpool direct to Iceland and onward seamlessly to the USA.”