Fly Play hf. Leadership Change: A New CEO Announced

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
A PLAY Airbus parked on the ramp.
Photo Credit: CNW Group/PLAY

Fly Play hf., the Icelandic low-cost airline, has seen a significant transition in its leadership as Birgir Jónsson, the Company’s CEO, stepped down from his position.

The Board of Directors, along with Birgir Jónsson, signed an employment termination agreement, marking the end of his tenure.

In his place, Einar Örn Ólafsson, the current chairman of the board, will take on the mantle of CEO effective immediately.

Background of the Transition

The decision to transition leadership at Fly Play hf. was reached through mutual agreement between Birgir Jónsson and the Board of Directors.

Birgir Jónsson, who has led the company with distinction, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to build a robust and competitive airline.

Under his leadership, PLAY airlines emerged as a formidable player in the aviation industry, and continues to build on its successes.

A PLAY A320neo parked at the terminal.
Photo Credit: CNW Group/PLAY

Einar Örn Ólafsson’s Profile

Einar Örn Ólafsson, the incoming CEO, brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He is one of PLAY’s largest shareholders and the chairman of the board since April 2021.

As such, Einar Örn is intimately familiar with the company’s operations and strategic objectives. He boasts an extensive background in both executive and board positions.

This, coupled with his financial acumen, positions him well to lead PLAY into its next phase of growth.

Örn holds an MBA degree from NYU, Stern School of Business, and a B.Sc. degree in industrial engineering from the University of Iceland.

His previous roles include serving as the CEO of Fjarðarlax and Skeljungur, demonstrating his prowess in managing diverse businesses across different sectors.

“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,” said Ólafsson.

Birgir Jónsson’s Departure

Birgir Jónsson, while bidding farewell to his role as CEO, expressed pride in PLAY’s accomplishments during his tenure.

He emphasized the competitive landscape of the aviation industry and its benefits for Iceland. This involved foreseeing lower fares and increased tourism opportunities.

“Being involved in building up PLAY airlines 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,” he remarked.

Under his tenure, the airline has grown from strength the strength.

“I therefore leave my position with immense pride. PLAY has now left its infancy and grown up to be a mature airline,” Jónsson said.

“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.”

Birgir Jónsson will continue to support PLAY in an advisory capacity, ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.

Photo: PLAY Airlines
Photo: PLAY Airlines

Implications for Fly Play hf.

The transition in leadership marks a significant milestone for Fly Play hf. With Einar Örn Ólafsson at the helm, the company is well poised to navigate challenges. It will aim to continue capitalizing on emerging opportunities in the aviation sector.

Stakeholders can expect continuity in operations while also witnessing strategic shifts under new leadership.

Acknowledgment and Gratitude

Birgir Jónsson’s departure from the CEO role is met with gratitude and appreciation for his invaluable contributions to PLAY’s success.

His vision and leadership have laid a strong foundation for the company’s future endeavors.

Additionally, PLAY extends its gratitude to its passengers and partners for their continued support and collaboration.

Jónsson will continue to work for PLAY until April 2, 2024. He will then remain as an advisor for the Company for the next few months. 

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By Len Varley Assistant Editor
Now the Assistant Editor with AviationSource, I have almost 40 years' experience in aviation, starting in Australian flight crew and training. I worked as CFI/Chief Pilot with 2 organisations and was also a CASA approved testing officer and aeronautics lecturer. This led to components procurement for civil operators and the RAAF, and then maintenance programming with a global airborne geo-survey operator.