Chairman of Play takes on new role as chief executive steps down

The chief executive of Icelandic budget carrier Play is stepping down to be replaced by its largest shareholder and chairman.  

Birgir Jonsson will continue to work for the airline until April 2 and  remain as an advisor for the next few months.

His successor as chief executive has been named as current chairman Einar Orn Olafsson.

Olafsson is Play’s largest shareholder and has been chairman of the board since April 2021. 

He said:“I am really looking forward to this new role. 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.” 

Jonsson said: “Being involved in building up Play has been a real adventure. 

“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.”

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