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Wednesday,  April 17, 2024 5:23 PM 

PLAY airlines names Einar Örn Ólafsson as new CEO

  • Air
  •   03-20-2024  10:45 am
  •   Pax Global Media

PLAY airlines names Einar Örn Ólafsson as new CEO
Einar Örn Ólafsson is now CEO of Play airlines. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

PLAY airlines, a low-cost airline operating flights between Iceland and Europe, has appointed Einar Örn Ólafsson as its new chief executive officer, succeeding Birgir Jónsson.

Jónsson will continue to work for PLAY airlines until April 2, 2024, and will remain as an advisor for the company for the next few months to ensure a seamless transition.

Ólafsson is one of PLAY airlines’ largest shareholders and has been chairman of the board since April 2021. He has rescinded his candidacy as a board member for the election of a new board at the company’s annual general meeting on March 21, 2024, to assume the role of PLAY’s CEO.

“I am really looking forward to this new role,” said Ólafsson in a news release. “After a great ramp-up phase these past few years under Birgir’s strong leadership, the company is now at a turning point. As the company’s largest shareholder, I’d like to see my investment through. I am very familiar with PLAY’s operations and employees and can see ample opportunities and exciting projects in the operation going forward. I’m grateful to PLAY’s board of directors for their trust in me and I’d like to use the opportunity to thank Birgir for his contribution to PLAY and for our pleasant and productive collaboration during these past few years.”

Ólafsson has been involved in the operation of numerous companies, both as an investor, executive and board member. He was previously the CEO of both Fjarðarlax and Skeljungur, and also has extensive experience in capital markets. 

Ólafsson graduated with an MBA degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2003 and holds a B.Sc. degree in industrial engineering from the University of Iceland.

 “Being involved in building up PLAY airlines has been a real adventure,” said Jónsson, outgoing CEO. “In a relatively short period of time, we have created a powerful, Icelandic low-cost airline with outstanding products, services and a bright future. A competitive landscape in the aviation industry will result in lower fares, a diverse selection of destinations and valuable foreign tourists, which is especially important for an island like us." 

"This competition is in the interest of all Icelanders. I therefore leave my position with immense pride. PLAY has now left its infancy and grown up to be a mature airline. I’ve had a good and close working relationship with Einar and leave the company in his capable hands. I look forward to seeing PLAY flourish under his leadership. I’d like to thank our passengers and partners for this particularly enjoyable period. I will say goodbye to my incredible colleagues in person in the next few days.”

PLAY in Canada

In Canada, PLAY operates daily flights and seasonal services to more than 30 European destinations from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport 

On February 12, 2024, PLAY launched ticket sales for flights to Vilnius in Lithuania via Iceland, and on March 4, 2024, ticket sales were launched for flights to Madeira in Portugal and Marrakech in Morocco via Iceland, extending its network and offering travellers even more opportunities to explore. 

The first flight from Vilnius will be on May 25, for Madeira will be on October 15 and for Marrakech will be on October 17. PLAY will operate weekly flights on Saturdays over the summer months for Vilnius, weekly flights on Tuesdays for Madeira, and flights up to twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays for Marrakech. 

These new routes allow passengers to take advantage of PLAY airlines' stopover program introduced on January 29, 2024. 

Canadian passengers can prolong their layover into a multi-day stopover for up to 10 days at no additional cost. 

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