Icelandic low-cost carrier Play is adding a fourth U.S. destination, Washington Dulles to its network next spring, and has ideas for more. Norse Atlantic, this year's other new trans-Atlantic discounter last week announced plans for three routes starting soon from Berlin.
Both carriers are soft-of successors to discount carriers that failed the last time around, Wow Air and Norwegian. Both, it's generally agreed, were wildly successful in attracting passengers but unsuccessful at generating enough revenue while rapidly expanding fleets and routes. Both the new airlines say they won't make that mistake, but pressure to expand before others enter the market could push them too far.
Play, like Wow, is based at Iceland's Keflavik Airport, which serves as a hub connecting multiple European cities with the airline's U.S. destinations. Norse Atlantic operates point-to-point non-stop routes, but has recently signed agreements with Spirit in the U.S. and EasyJet in Europe which will enable it to serve many more destinations without actually expanding its own operations.
Play's once-a-day flight to Dulles will be in addition to its existing service to Baltimore area's BWI, less than 50 miles away, and flights to New York Stewart Field and Boston.