Showing posts with label Play. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Play. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

PLAY saw a 54% increase in passengers in May....

PLAY carried 56,601 passengers in May, a 54% increase from the previous month when PLAY carried 36,669 passengers and almost the same number of passengers PLAY flew in January, February and March (Q1) combined. In May, the load factor was approximately 70%.

On-time performance in May was 88.9%, which is a great achievement at the same time as PLAY recently changed its network to a hub-and-spoke network connecting passengers between Europe and the United States. PLAY’s load factor and passenger numbers are growing in the coming months and booking inflow for the summer is strong. This positive development is primarily due to the addition of the VIA market to PLAY’s network, as PLAY has started connecting cities in Europe and the United States.

12 New Destinations in May and June

In May, eight new destinations in Europe and North America were added to PLAY’s network; Prague, Boston, Lisbon, Gothenburg, Brussels, Stavanger, Malaga and Trondheim. In June, PLAY will launch services to Palma de Mallorca, Bologna, New York, and Madrid.

The total number of seats on sale in Q2 2022 will be 164% more than the company offered in Q1 2022. This expanded network will result in improved utilization of aircraft and other resources.

With the addition of New York to PLAY’s network (the inaugural flight on June 9), PLAY will have completed the launch of its transatlantic hub-and-spoke network for this year. PLAY will thus be serving 25 destinations. More destinations on both sides of the Atlantic will be added next year.

First Steps Taken in Implementing the Fuel Hedge Policy

PLAY has implemented its fuel hedging policy and has hedged 20% of estimated consumption in June, July and August at a price of USD 1,210 per metric ton and 10% of estimated consumption in September, October and November at a price of USD 1,112 per metric ton. A physical fuel hedging agreement has been made with Skeljungur, which is in line with the hedging policy. A first conservative step has been taken in implementing the policy, and the volatile economic and political situation globally will be monitored closely before further steps are taken.

 Birgir Jónsson, CEO of Play said: 

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Strong booking flow, increased revenue, and lower cost, Play playing well.

Strong booking flow, increased revenue, and lower cost
Booking flow is strong and load factor growing


PLAY has carried approx. 230 thousand passengers to date with approx. 60 thousand passengers in the first quarter of 2022

The financial position of the company is strong. Cash and cash equivalents on the 31st of March amounted to USD 42.12 million. The equity ratio was 22% and the company has no external interest-bearing debt

EBIT was negative in the first quarter of 2022 in the amount of USD 13.3 million, as expected as the company has yet to reach economies of scale. The Omicron variant impacted revenue during the quarter and the war in Ukraine resulted in higher fuel prices towards the end of the quarter, impacting financial results negatively

PLAY has started the process of implementing fuel hedges

Cost of Available Seat Kilometer (CASK) excl. fuel is rapidly decreasing with the increased operation, and PLAY continues to work its way toward operational profit

Revenue (RASK) is increasing rapidly
During Q1, the main focus was on preparing for the airlines‘ operational ramp-up before the summer schedule and the hub-and-spoke operation, including hiring and training new employees, preparing 15 new destination airports, and adding to the fleet.

In January, PLAY carried 13,488 passengers with a load factor of 55.7%. In February the load factor was 67.1% and PLAY carried 19,686 passengers. The load factor was 66.9% in March and PLAY carried 23,667 passengers, which is a 20% increase from the previous month. A surge in COVID-19 cases at the end of 2021 caused hesitation amongst passengers to book their travel and had a negative impact on booking inflow for Q1.



Forward bookings continue to strengthen

Booking inflow started to improve in January, with 95% more sold seats compared to December 2021. In February, this positive trend continued with 59% more sold seats compared to January, despite the war in Ukraine. This improvement in booking inflow has continued into the second quarter of 2022, with 336% more sold seats in April compared to January, also reflecting more capacity. In April the load factor was 72.4% and we saw over 50% increase in passengers from the previous month.

Strong cash position and lower CASK

As expected, EBIT was negative in the amount of USD 13.3 million in the first quarter of 2022, as the company has yet to reach economies of scale. The Omicron variant impacted revenue during the quarter and the war in Ukraine resulted in higher fuel price towards the end of the quarter, both impacting the company’s financial results negatively.

PLAY continues to hold a strong financial position with cash and cash equivalents on the 31st of March amounted to USD 42.12 million. The equity ratio was 22% and the company has no external interest bearing debt.

PLAY has been successful in keeping costs down and CASK has been decreasing with increased operations. PLAY anticipates positive operating results in the latter half of this year with CASK excl. fuel steadily decreasing. PLAY foresees to reach its goal of CASK excl. fuel under 4 cents in summer 2022.


Loss amounted to USD 11.2 million for the first three months of 2022 compared to 0.4 USD million for the same period last year, before PLAY started flight operations.

Steps taken towards implementing PLAY‘s fuel hedging policy
PLAY has started the process of implementing its fuel hedging policy. A fuel hedging agreement has been made with Skeljungur which is in line with the hedging policy. A first conservative step has been taken in implementing the policy, and the volatile economic and world situation will be continued to be monitored closely for further steps to be taken. However, the fuel surcharge put in place in March manages to mitigate a notable portion of the fuel price increase.

Changing our fleet mix due to higher fuel prices

In the summer 2022, PLAY was planning to have three Airbus A321neo, one Airbus A321neo Long Range (LR) and two Airbus A320neo. Due to the high price of fuel, PLAY has decided to change its fleet plan for summer 2022, and instead of leasing an Airbus A321neo LR, PLAY will lease an Airbus A320neo at more favorable terms, thus securing an even lower cost base in the long term. As a result, the planned three times weekly Orlando service that was supposed to start on 30 September 2022 will not commence. Following this change, PLAY’s fleet in summer 2022 will consist of three Airbus A321neo and three Airbus A320neo.

Expanded network ensures increased utilization of aircraft and other resources

In the second quarter of 2022, PLAY will expand its network as new destinations in Europe and North America are added. In April, PLAY launched service to Baltimore/Washington D.C. and Dublin. So far in May, PLAY has launched services to Prague, Boston, Lisbon, Gothenburg, and Brussels. From now until the end of May, PLAY will launch services to Stavanger, Malaga, and Trondheim. In June, PLAY will launch services to Palma de Mallorca, Bologna, and New York.

The total number of seats on sale in the second quarter of 2022 will be 167% more than the company offered in the first quarter of 2022. This expanded network will result in improved utilization of aircraft and other resources. As a result, PLAY’s unit cost (CASK), excluding fuel and costs related to emissions units, is expected to be considerably reduced in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year.

“As we close the first quarter of 2022, we see and feel a growing demand in the market and a great response to our new destinations. PLAY has clearly gained momentum, market share, and strength very quickly. After a challenging winter, it is good to see this positive feeling materialize in an increased load factor and a growing number of passengers month after month. This quarter, we took steps towards expanding our fleet, staff number, network, and we are confident that we are increasing our capacity at the right time as market demand has clearly recovered. PLAY will start operations to twelve new destinations in Europe and the U.S in May and June. This means that in summer 2022, PLAY will serve 26 destinations on both sides of the Atlantic, so it is safe to say that we have some very exciting times ahead. PLAY is heading into the spring and summer with a strong booking and financial position. We expect that utilization will continue to improve in the coming months with the addition of the VIA market to PLAY’s network as we have started connecting cities in Europe and the United States. The team at PLAY has worked tirelessly towards the goal of launching the transatlantic operation as well as our many new European destinations, and it has been great to watch all the pieces come together thanks to their precision, professionalism, and skills,“ says Birgir Jónsson, CEO.

 CONDENSED INTERIM FINANCIAL STATEMENTS  1 January - 31 March 2022

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Tuesday, 10 May 2022

PLAY reports a 72% Load Factor in April and over 50% increase in passengers

PLAY reports a 72% Load Factor in April and over 50% increase in passengers

 
The new Icelandic airline PLAY carried 36,669 passengers in April, which is a 55% increase from the previous month when passengers were 23,677. The load factor in April was 72.4% compared to 66.9% in March. The load has grown significantly even though operations to our first U.S. destinations started late in the month. This shows an increase across all our networks over the whole month of April. On-time performance was 90.1 %, demonstrating the professionalism of our operational teams in a challenging ramp-up phase into a hub-and-spoke model. PLAY is heading into a strong spring and summer as strong booking trends continue. PLAY has been seeing its strongest bookings in recent weeks, which strengthens the company’s revenue base. PLAY expects that utilization will continue to improve in the coming months with the addition of the VIA market to PLAY’s network as we have started connecting cities in Europe and the United States.

PLAY’s inaugural flight to the U.S.


April was an important month for PLAY as U.S. operations launched. On April 20, PLAY had its inaugural flight to Baltimore/Washington DC and therefore started the next chapter of the company’s history where passengers from North America and Europe are transported over the Atlantic Ocean with Iceland as a hub. The launch of the transatlantic operation was a great success and is a major achievement with one of PLAY’s long-term goals being reached.  Since April 20, PLAY has operated flights daily to and from Baltimore/Washington DC. PLAY also began services to and from Dublin airport in April.

8 New Destinations in May


In May, PLAY will start operations to 8 new destinations; Lisbon in Portugal, Stavanger and Trondheim in Norway, Malaga in Spain, Prague in the Check Republic, Gothenburg in Sweden, Boston in the U.S and Brussels in Belgium. This means that PLAY will serve 25 destinations on both sides of the Atlantic in 2022.

 

“Over the last few months, we have felt a growing demand in the market and a great response to our new destinations. After a challenging winter, it is good to see this positive feeling materialize in an increased load factor and growing passenger numbers in April. We fully expect this trend to continue as future bookings are strong and healthy, particularly with the addition of the transatlantic traffic which strengthens the utilization of our key European city destinations. The team at PLAY has been working tirelessly towards the goal of launching the transatlantic operation as well as our many new European destinations and it has been great to watch all the pieces come together due to their precision, professionalism, and skills,” says Birgir Jónsson, PLAY’s CEO.

 

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Wednesday, 6 April 2022

PLAY issues its 2021 report.....

In June 2021 the new Icelandic airline PLAY launched commercial flight operations and from the very start, the carrier started to build up a strong customer base.  The company is focused on building its corporate culture, organizational structure as well technological infrastructure. 

According to its latest report, the company is right on track to realize its objective of building a profitable company operating a hub-and-spoke network between Europe and North America.  During its first six months of flying, it carried more than 100,000 passengers on more than 1,000 flights. 

Considering the challenging market environment and the performance of other start-up airlines in Europe and North America, the boss of the budget carrier, Birgir Jónsson believes 2021 was very successful for the airline and a clear sign that it is on the right path.  'Our achievement is due to our team, and we are incredibly proud of every single member. What guides us toward continued success is our very strong foundation, our digital infrastructure, and an exceptional team of people. We believe in safety, simplicity, sustainability, and of course playfulness."


 
The long-term goal is to make PLAY a strong and 
leading brand in the markets we serve, and in our 
opinion, 2021 was a solid step in that direction.


PLAY is an Airbus A320neo Family operator. The A320 Family is the newest generation of narrowbody aircraft with lower fuel consumption and a smaller environmental and noise footprint than older generation aircraft. The A320 Family has size and range flexibility, allowing PLAY to reach small and larger markets close by and far away, so it perfectly fits PLAY’s network.


In December, PLAY opened a new office in Vilnius, Lithuania. Whilst the airline's headquarters and the current flight operations remain in Iceland, including all flight crew and cabin crew. The Vilnius office hosts various support and technical functions and will have up to 20 employees by the end of 2022. The new office location will expand access to a larger talent pool of specialists in digital development, marketing, finance and customer service. The Vilnius office also allows PLAY to develop a more international company culture and create relationships with new suppliers, service providers and in future the office will handle all reservations and customer service operations for the airline, where costs and wages are a fraction of what it costs in Iceland.  




PLAY’s fleet consists of the Airbus A320neo family aircraft, which includes the A319, A320 and A321. All these types are narrowbody aircraft.
 
The A320neo family, are one of the most successful aircraft ever produced, with passenger seating ranging from 140 to 244 seats and a flight range of up to 7,400 km. Operating a single family of aircraft provides multiple operational and cost advantages: 

• All aircraft in the A320neo family are very similar.  PLAY’s flight and cabin crew only need to learn to operate one to be able to operate them all. A fleet that provides crew commonality enables us to stick to our core value of simplicity.

• Lower maintenance cost due to the similarities within the family and because all aircraft are equipped with the same engine type.

• The new engines in the Airbus A320neo family have nearly 50% less noise footprint. Fuel-Efficient Fleet – the Airbus A320neo family has the newest engine technology. That means fuel consumption per block hour is 15-25% lower than older generation aircraft. The low-cost business model with high seat density, high seat factor, and investment in the latest aircraft technology will help to minimize our the operation's environmental impact, and enables a low emission rate measured in carbon emissions per passenger-km

Read the full report......




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Friday, 18 March 2022

$22.5 million net loss last year, yet Icelandic budget airline PLAY anticipates operating profit in the second half of this year

Despite the challenging business environment, the budget Icelandic up-start airline PLAY anticipates the latter half of 2022 to give it an operating profit. 

As the carrier's transatlantic hub-and-spoke route network becomes fully operational PLAY believes it can turn around from a net loss of $22.5 million last you to a positive result this year. 

The financial results for 2021 were in line with the fact that PLAY is still in its build-up phase and as such was not expected to be profitable in the first year of operation, having only begun operations in June. The impact of COVID-19 also slowed the growth trajectory and lowered revenues and load factor for the year. This trend has now been reversed, utilization is growing and the outlook is positive for this year as the markets release the significant pent-up demand for travel built up over the last two years of travel restrictions.   

As the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic recedes the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine are a new challenge and the impact on PLAY has so far been limited to the increase of the price of oil. PLAY estimates that based on the current market situation, this war-related price increase will raise its costs by around 10 million USD this year. This cost will be met with an even stronger emphasis on lowering operating costs as well as the introduction of a fuel surcharge, similar to what many of PLAY‘s competitors already have in place. 

Currently, PLAY does not have any plans to raise additional funds as its cash position is solid, the company has no interest-bearing debt and the booking flow is strong and growing.

PLAY was in the process of implementing an oil price hedging strategy when the invasion took place causing the price of oil to increase and then fluctuate significantly. As future market developments are very unclear, and markets are reacting to possibly short-term but extreme external factors PLAY will not implement its hedging strategy until the visibility in the market increases. PLAY will however strengthen its efforts to reduce costs across its operation to ensure that the impact of fluctuating oil prices on cash flow and margins will be kept at a minimum.

The last quarter was an eventful one for PLAY. Ticket sales for U.S. flights were launched in December which was a significant milestone and opened a new chapter in PLAY’s expansion. PLAY had approx. 150 employees at year-end but estimates to grow to around 300 people in the summer of 2022, when PLAY will operate six aircraft in its transatlantic network connecting Europe to the USA via the PLAY home base in Iceland.

“2021 was a year of many great milestones and victories for PLAY. We began our flight operations, listed on the Nasdaq First North stock market, and enjoyed a very warm reception from passengers and investors alike, thereby showing the clear need for a new Icelandic low-cost airline. The year was of course impacted by wave after wave of COVID-19 but we were able to use our flexibility to minimize the negative impact as much as possible and are absolutely on track to realizing our vision of building PLAY into a profitable airline operating a hub-and-spoke transatlantic network. Our booking flow is strong, our new destinations have been very well received and I believe that we are expanding our network and operation at precisely the right time as the demand in the market increases. Our secret weapon is our super professional and ambitious team of people across all functions of the company, a team that is focused on working together to achieve its goals and having fun at the same time. We are entering a new and exciting chapter in the PLAY saga, and I look forward to working towards the future together with the amazing team of the people at PLAY,” says Birgir Jónsson, PLAY’s CEO.     







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Thursday, 10 March 2022

New Icelandic air carrier PLAY carried 19,686 passengers in February



The new Icelandic carrier PLAY carried 19,686 passengers in February with a load factor of 67.1%, increasing from 55.7% in January. The surge of COVID-19 infections at the end of 2021 due to the spread of the Omicron variant had a negative impact on booking inflow. As a result, PLAY’s schedule was adjusted in January and February 2022.

The budget carrier believes its aircraft utilization will improve in the coming months as there are less travel restrictions and an increase it passenger demand, that expectation is based on the following:


In PLAY’s January traffic report, it was stated that booking inflow had started to improve. In February, this trend continued despite recent geopolitical developments
The addition of the VIA market to PLAY’s network when we start connecting cities in Europe and the U.S. will supplement the TO and FROM markets that we already serve, and should result in higher utilization


New destinations have been very well received, and it is encouraging to see that consumers’ confidence has returned as the effects of COVID-19 dissipate. Nevertheless, PLAY is prepared to weather any uncertainty associated with the pandemic and recent Russian invasion of Ukraine. So far, the effect on PLAY of the invasion is limited to the rise in oil prices. PLAY is in the process of implementing a hedging strategy, details of which will be revealed at the next investor’s presentation on March 17.

Six Aircraft in 2022


PLAY’s first Airbus A320neo aircraft arrived in Iceland on March 1. PLAY´s fleet currently consists of three Airbus A321neo aircraft and one A320neo. PLAY will receive two aircraft in April and May, one A321neoLR and one A320neo. Thus, PLAY’s fleet will consist of six aircraft in summer 2022. We are currently in the process of onboarding and training 150 new team members.





PLAY to Orlando


In February, PLAY launched ticket sales to Orlando, Florida in the U.S. PLAY’s first flight to Orlando will be on September 30, 2022. Orlando will be PLAY´s fourth destination in the U.S. The other three destinations are Boston, Baltimore/Washington DC and New York, all starting in spring/summer 2022.


“As we see our load factor rising, we feel that the PLAY story is entering a new and exciting chapter. We have seen booking trends grow in the past months, indicating a healthy growth from spring into summer and beyond. As we take decisive but careful steps towards expanding our fleet, staff number, and network, we are confident that we are increasing our capacity at precisely the right time as the market demand is clearly recovering from the COVID-19 slump. We have some very exciting times ahead, and all of us at PLAY are extremely focused on reaching our objectives and benefiting from the growth that the international aviation and tourism market will experience in the future,“ says Birgir Jónsson, PLAY’s CEO.








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Tuesday, 1 March 2022

PLAY to head to Orlando from 30th September.

Icelandic budget carrier PLAY will start a service to Orlando, Florida on 30 September, with tickets on sale now. The airline will operate the route three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with the return departing Orlando International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 

Orlando will be PLAY´s fourth destination in the U.S. The other three destinations are Boston, Baltimore/Washington DC and New York, all starting in Spring/Summer 2022.

PLAY will be adding Airbus A321neo Long Range (LR) aircraft to its fleet, making it possible to operate flights to Orlando. PLAY uses the standard model of the Airbus A321neo, but the Airbus A321neo LR is the same aircraft with more fuel capacity and, therefore, capable of flying further than PLAY’s existing Airbus A321s.

“With the Airbus A321neo LR, we can reach markets that were not open to PLAY before. We use the newest generation of A320/1neo from Airbus, which is the most sought-after aircraft in the world today because of its benefits and the Long Range-version is a welcome addition,” says Birgir Jónsson, CEO of PLAY.

“I am convinced that our arrival in Orlando will shake up the Iceland - Florida market. After studying our competitors’ prices on flights to and from Orlando, we are confident we can offer much lower prices on this popular route, which benefits a huge market. That includes the many Icelanders who travel to Florida as well as everyone travelling between Florida and Europe. PLAY is a real low-budget airline that aims to offer the lowest prices. With our operations on this popular route, many more will be able to fly to Florida and experience this wonderful area.”





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Saturday, 12 February 2022

Growing load factor and strong U.S. ticket sales announces Iceland's PLAY

Growing load factor and strong U.S. ticket sales




PLAY carried 13,488 passengers in January with a load factor of 55.7% an increase from 53.2% in December. A surge in COVID-19 cases in the past months caused hesitation amongst passengers to book their travel, and PLAY adjusted its schedule and reduced capacity in January to reflect this. However, we are seeing very strong booking trends for the coming months, and it is obvious that consumers’ confidence has started to return as the effects of COVID-19 dissipates. People’s attitude towards the pandemic is clearly changing and many are prepared to travel again. As an indication of strong booking trends in January, the daily booking numbers were approximately three times higher than in December. This uptick in bookings for spring and summer travel makes us optimistic and the outlook for 2022 is bright. Nevertheless, we are prepared to weather the uncertainty associated with the pandemic with flexible operations, a solid financial position, and a strong cash balance.

88.5% of PLAY’s flights in January arrived on schedule despite very challenging winter operations.



New aircraft brings PLAY’s fleet to six in 2022


PLAY has signed a Letter of Intent for one A321neo aircraft. The aircraft is scheduled to arrive in April in time for PLAY‘s services to North America in spring 2022.

PLAY has now secured the first ten aircraft in the fleet, five A321neos and five A320neos. PLAY has not changed its fleet plan as laid out in the company’s business plan and will operate six aircraft this summer increasing to ten in spring 2023.  

New low-cost route between Europe and New York


On February 1, PLAY launched ticket sales to New York. PLAY´s first flight to New York will be on June 9, and flights will be operated daily. PLAY will fly to New York Stewart International Airport and will be the first airline to operate international flights from the airport for a number of years. This will be a major benefit for the millions of people living in the area and the local tourism industry. This is PLAY´s third destination in the United States as flights to Baltimore/Washington, D.C. will begin in April, and to Boston in May. The cost of operating at New York Stewart Airport is significantly lower than other airports in New York, making it possible for PLAY to offer the lowest fares between New York and Europe. Because of less traffic at the airport, PLAY´s aircraft will spend less time in holding patterns and taxiing on the ground, saving fuel, operating expenses, and reducing carbon emissions. This aligns well with PLAY´s strategy of offering the lowest prices and comfortable and relaxed services in an environmentally-friendly manner. The reception after the launch was very good, and we immediately saw a healthy flow of bookings coming from the U.S., Europe and Iceland.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

More New York routes for PLAY

PLAY has launched ticket sales to New York in the United States. PLAY´s first flight to New York will be on June 9 and PLAY will operate daily flights. 

PLAY will fly to New York Stewart International Airport and will be the only airline to operate international flights from the airport. This will be a major benefit for the millions of people living in the area surrounding the airport and the local tourism industry.

“This is a significant development for New York Stewart International Airport and the region and customers it serves,” said Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port of New York and New Jersey. 

“The addition of PLAY’s international service is important in realizing our post-pandemic vision for New York Stewart as a leading regional provider of both international and domestic air service and as a generator of strong economic growth.”

This is PLAY´s third destination in the United States as flights to Baltimore/Washington will begin in April and service to  Boston will commence in May. This is an important expansion to PLAY´s market area as transatlantic flights will be a major factor in its business model. These three US destinations will open up new routes to Iceland, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Brussels, Trondheim, and Gothenburg in Europe in the spring.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

First six months of PLAY classed as a success with more than 100,000 passengers flying with the carrier.

During PLAY‘s first six months in operation, the airline flew 101,053 passengers on more than 1,000 flights. Considering the challenging environment with the pandemic and the performance of other start-up airlines in Europe and North America, we consider the 53.2% load factor for the year very satisfactory.


In 2021, over 48% of our passengers were travelling from Iceland. We are delighted with the reception that PLAY has received in Iceland as the numbers show that there was a significant need for a low-cost alternative in the market.


Our flights to the U.S., which we recently launched ticket sales for and will start operating in Spring 2022, will strengthen PLAY’s foundation even more as we open up the U.S. – Iceland market to low-cost travel and facilitate connections for passengers that want to take advantage of low-cost travel between the U.S. and Europe.


In 2022, PLAY will serve 24 destinations in Europe and North America.  
17,749 Passengers in December

More than 100,000 passengers flew with PLAY in the first 6 months

During PLAY‘s first six months in operation, the airline flew 101,053 passengers on more than 1,000 flights. Considering the challenging environment with the pandemic and the performance of other start-up airlines in Europe and North America, we consider the 53.2% load factor for the year very satisfactory.


In 2021, over 48% of our passengers were travelling from Iceland. We are delighted with the reception that PLAY has received in Iceland as the numbers show that there was a significant need for a low-cost alternative in the market.


Our flights to the U.S., which we recently launched ticket sales for and will start operating in Spring 2022, will strengthen PLAY’s foundation even more as we open up the U.S. – Iceland market to low-cost travel and facilitate connections for passengers that want to take advantage of low-cost travel between the U.S. and Europe.


In 2022, PLAY will serve 24 destinations in Europe and North America.  
17,749 Passengers in December

Monday, 13 December 2021

PLAY carried 16,689 passengers in November......



The Icelandic budget airline with a wow factor, PLAY carried 16,689 passengers during November, with a load factor of 58.3%, the firm has revealed in its latest figures.  In October the airline managed to score a load factor of 67.7% however a new rise in COVID-19 cases in mid-November in Iceland and the European markets served by PLAY inevitably scaled down a highly positive trend in demand for the month. 

Changes to bookings are less than in the last wave of COVID-19 but the last weeks have seen a clear change of dynamic in the markets. Long-term bookings remain strong but short-term bookings for seasonal weekend trips slowed down which negatively affected our load factor in November. This hesitation in the markets is due to rapid changes in travel restrictions, a rising number of COVID-19 cases across Europe, and uncertainty around vaccinations and the Omicron variant.

Only October has had a higher load factor since the beginning of flight operations. Considering the challenging environment with the pandemic and the fact that November has traditionally lower demand in the aviation industry we consider the situation quite acceptable. With vaccination rates in our markets increasing, we are cautiously positive going forward but the uncertainty associated with the pandemic will remain for the foreseeable future. PLAY is well prepared to weather this uncertainty with flexible operations, a very favourable financial position with a strong cash balance, operational cost being lower than expected and no interest-bearing debt. Therefore, the company has significant strength and flexibility to continue its growth and ramp up in the ever-changing market dynamics.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Positive Play in September?

New start-up airline Play scored a load factor of 52.1% in September
96.2% of flights arrived on-time 



In September, PLAY carried 15,223 passengers spread out on its flights, scoring a load factor of 52.1%, which was up from 46% in August. According to the airline, this result reflects recovering demand from passengers to and from Iceland. 

The airline also reported that during the month there was a decline in the number of passengers who changed their bookings due to COVID-19. Demonstrating growing consumer confidence and the relaxation of travel restrictions in Iceland and further afield. 

The airline also thinks the increase is in part to its name and brand becoming more known and recognised. More people are wanting to sample the style of the new airline and trust it to carry them overseas. 

Also in September, PLAY announced a recruitment drive to fill 100 cabin crew and 50 flight crew positions to support the airline’s growth for 2022.  This will double the number of employees employed by the company.

Due to the positive demand trends outlined above, PLAY has added Amsterdam as a new destination to its winter schedule. The first flight to Amsterdam will be on December 3, with flights initially operating Mondays and Fridays and Thursdays and Sundays to be added from December 16. Additional new destinations in Europe will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We have been careful in our plans due to the pandemic. As the local tourism shows signs of recovery and travel restrictions are being relaxed, we see our load factor increase and very positive demand trends for the future. It’s safe to say that we are optimistic and looking forward to a robust next year. I am truly excited to welcome new members to our team and we are very proud to be able to provide all these new jobs. We have exciting times ahead of us,” says Birgir Jónsson CEO. 


Wednesday, 22 September 2021

PLAY to receive four Airbus neo aircraft from GECAS’ orderbook

 

GECAS has reached an agreement to provide three A320neo and one A321NX narrowbody aircraft from its orderbook to PLAY, the newly operating Icelandic low-cost airline.  The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between autumn 2022 and spring 2023

Based in Reykjavík’s Keflavík International Airport and commencing operations in June of this year, PLAY’s current fleet of three A321neo connects passengers to ten locations across Europe. As Iceland offers a unique geographic location for transatlantic travel, these new technology narrowbodies offer greater capability to make connections within North America as well.

“We are delighted to add additional aircraft to the PLAY fleet. Our long-term objective is to make PLAY a leading brand in our market and we are very happy to have signed a partnership with GECAS, a leading international aircraft lessor. We appreciate the relationship with them through the early days of our airline,” Birgir Jónsson, PLAY’s CEO said. “We are consciously including environmental and ethical variables in our decision making. The addition of these fuel-efficient aircraft will help us meet our growth objectives as we look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

“GECAS has a successful track record of working with start-ups from their inception and are proud to support their success,” shared Alan Buckley, GECAS’ SVP & Region Manager. “GECAS is impressed with PLAY’s business plan and believe the airline is well positioned for growth. These neos will enable PLAY to build a broader network of routes to meet future travel demand and we are excited to join them on this journey.”



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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

First half to 2021 played well for PLAY - better than expected results.


Remarkably the brand new low-cost airline operating flights between Iceland and Europe, PLAY has had a good start to the year.  This new budget offering carried more than 17,300 passengers in August, which almost doubled the number of passengers carried in July.

Also in August PLAY applied for a permit and exemption authority with the US Department of Transportation to launch services to the United States in 2022. The carrier put in the application on 20th August asking to operate both scheduled and charter flights in and out of the U.S. on its A321 aircraft.

In April, PLAY raised USD 47.0 million through private placement and in June, three aircraft commenced scheduled flights under favourable power-by-the-hour lease terms.

Operation begins in a secure and efficient manner 
Cash position stronger than planned
Leasing six new aircraft - a major milestone in securing future fleet at terms better than anticipated in business plan
Positive demand trends and outlook
Focus is now on preparing for the hub-and-spoke operation in spring 2022 and adding destinations in North America and Europe

After receiving the Air Operator Certificate and launching ticket sales, there was strong demand making PLAY’s first summer schedule a success.

PLAY further solidified its funding in June, raising USD 34.9 million through an Initial Public Offering and is now listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Iceland.

The financials for first half reflect PLAY’S successful start of operations. The cash position is more robust than estimated as terms on credit card settlements are more favourable than anticipated. These improved terms reflect the solid financial position of the company and a successful start of operations.  

Positive Demand Trends Support Buildup

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Iceland’s newest airline launches direct flights between Reykjavik and London Stansted.

Ready to Play.......Iceland is back on the destination boards at London Stansted with the new airline Play launch a route from the airport to Reykjavik  




The first flight took off on the 24th of June operated by a 192 seat Airbus A321neo jet in the rather bright and very wowish paint job.  The route is scheduled to be operated four times a week at the moment, with flights on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, but could be increased as and when demand dictates. 

Iceland is currently one of the destinations on the UK’s travel green list where travellers can visit without having to quarantine on return. With Play fares starting around £30 for a seat only, Reykjavik might just be a great alternative to summer sunshine breaks for holidaymakers hungry to travel.  

Steve Griffiths, Managing Director of London Stansted, said: “We’re delighted PLAY has joined us at London Stansted and launched its inaugural flight from the airport.

“Iceland is one of the very few countries currently on the UK green travel list so it’s a great alternative destination for people looking to get away on holiday this summer.

“The North Atlantic island offers an incredible number of things to do and see for holidaymakers and adventures alike. With its stunning scenery, volcanos, waterfalls, geysers and hot springs, it’s truly a spectacular place to visit.

“We wish PLAY every success with these great value and convenient flights which will I’m sure prove to be very popular with passengers from London and East of England wishing to fly from their local airport.”

Birgir Jónsson, CEO of PLAY, said: “The inaugural flight marks a milestone moment for us at PLAY. I am incredibly proud of my colleagues, all of whom have played an integral role in launching the airline.

“It’s great to see the crew wearing PLAY’s new uniform, which encompasses our core values: simplicity, playfulness, competitiveness, equality and on-time performance.

“The PLAY-branded Nike trainers are also a great nod to the Greek goddess Victory’s wings, which symbolise the sound of speed, movement, power and motivation.

“We’re so excited to be taking our bright red plane to the skies, and welcoming British travellers to Iceland this summer.”


Things to do in Reykjavik



Where to stay.... Top hotels in Iceland

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Saturday, 26 June 2021

Getting ready to play....A very successful conclusion to latest share offering by new Icelandic airline. Uniforms revealed.

On Friday evening the new share offering for the new budget carrier from Iceland, Play ended with a total new 221,906,800 shares issued.  There were two separate offer books available, offer book A and B, which were different with regard to size and allocation.

Approximately 4600 subscriptions were received for in total ISK 33.8 bn. or approx. USD 274 m.
In book A subscriptions were made for in total ISK 6.7 bn. or approx. USD 55 m, at the fixed rate of ISK 18 per share.
In book B subscriptions were made for in total ISK 27.0 bn. or approx. USD 220 m, with the final offer rate of ISK 20 per share.
The offering was managed by Arctica Finance, as Lead Financial Advisor, and Arion banki as Joint-Financial Advisor.

Play’s board of directors will now evaluate the subscriptions received in the offering and make decisions with regard thereto. The results of the allocation of the offering are expected to announced at the end of 28 June 2021. Information on final allocation will be accessible through the subscription system, which can be accessed through Arctica Finance´s website, www.arctica.is/play, by using the same log in credentials as in the subscription process.

The final due date for payment is expected to be on 5 July 2021. Subject to payment, the newly issued shares are expected to be delivered on 9 July 2021.


Trading of the shares of Play on Nasdaq First North is expected to commence on 9 July 2021. First day of trading of Play’s shares will be announced at least one business day in advance.

Birgir Jónsson, CEO of Fly Play said:  "This is a defining moment in PLAY‘s history with our inaugural flight yesterday which was a huge achievement by itself but also because today PLAY successfully concluded its IPO. Our staff has worked wonders over the past few days, and indeed weeks. We are well prepared to maximize the post-covid opportunity and we believe our investors have placed their trust in us as we have shown the resilience that is needed in this market. To add to the joy of today the Icelandic government finally declared Iceland free of any pandemic restrictions from midnight onwards. I think we can allow us some optimism now that we can start rebuilding Iceland’s tourism, and the world’s."