Tag Archives: Play

PLAY arrives in Prague

PLAY added the Keflavik – Prague route on May 5.

PLAY aircraft photo gallery:

PLAY starts operating in the United States from Iceland

PLAY today began service in the U.S. with its first takeoff from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).

Departing at 7 p.m. ET, the inaugural flight will bring passengers to Iceland, where they can enjoy the country’s first day of summer or board a connecting flight to one of PLAY’s other 22 European destinations.

On April 20, PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson will arrive at BWI on the airline’s first transatlantic flight into the U.S. He will be joined by local officials for a ceremony and a gate party in the airport, welcoming travelers from the first flight and celebrating PLAY’s first departure out of the U.S.

Play to fly to Liverpool and Geneva

PLAY Airlines Airbus A321-251N WL TF-PLA (msn 7939) SZG (Gunter Mayer). Image: 957149.

PLAY has added two new destinations to its schedule for winter 2022 and 2023 with flights to Liverpool in England and Geneva in Switzerland.

PLAY will operate flights two times a week, on Mondays and Fridays, to and from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, starting in November 2022 until mid-April 2023.

Geneva is PLAY’s new ski destination in 2023. PLAY will operate flights to and from Geneva Airport two times a week from February 1 to March 23.

PLAY´s decision to operate from John Lennon Airport will open up a new route between Liverpool and the United States of America. PLAY will operate four destinations in the U.S. next winter, Washington, New York, Boston and Orlando.

In other news, PLAY is coming to Baltimore/Washington (BWI Marshall Airport) on April 20.

Route Map:

Top Copyright Photo: PLAY Airlines Airbus A321-251N WL TF-PLA (msn 7939) SZG (Gunter Mayer). Image: 957149.

Play aircraft slide show:

Play aircraft photo gallery:

PLAY is coming to Orlando

PLAY has announced its acceleration into the U.S. market with new winter routes connecting Orlando International Airport and Berlin, Dublin, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, London, and Paris via Iceland. Despite launching during the pandemic, PLAY has managed to grow quickly, and Florida is an important foothold for PLAY as a global tourist destination.

PLAY will start the Keflavik – Orlando route on September 30, 2022.

PLAY issued this announcement:

PLAY airlines has launched its ticket sales to Orlando, Florida in the U.S. PLAY´s first flight to Orlando will be September 30. PLAY will operate flights to Orlando International Airport three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from Orlando International 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.

PLAY reports growing load factor and strong U.S. ticket sales

PLAY made this announcement:

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.

“January is traditionally a challenging month in aviation and even more so in pandemic times. We are therefore quite pleased to see our load factor growing from December as in a normal year this would not be the case. It’s also very encouraging to see that our new destinations and network expansion are receiving a very positive commercial reception in our focus markets. In spring, we will increase our capacity significantly with the addition of new aircraft, new European destinations, and of course the launch of our hub-and-spoke transatlantic service. Looking at the many positive developments in our business environment, the declining disruption of COVID-19, and the rapidly growing demand, I am confident that we are increasing our capacity and expanding our network at precisely the right point in time,” says Birgir Jónsson, CEO.

PLAY is coming to Stewart International Airport to serve the New York area

PLAY announced today:

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

PLAY will fly to New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) (above and below) 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 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.

Convenient Low-Cost Airport

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 air traffic at the airport, PLAY´s aircraft will spend less time taxiing on the ground and in holding patterns, saving fuel, operating expenses and emission. This aligns well with PLAY´s strategy of offering the lowest prices, comfortable and relaxed service in an environmentally-friendly manner.

New York Stewart Airport is an approx. a 75-minute drive from Times Square in Manhattan. While New York Stewart is visibly further away from Manhattan on a map than JFK Airport and Newark Airport, the time it will take passengers to get from these airports to Manhattan is nearly the same. New York Stewart is a small airport with shorter lines and waiting times at security, customs and baggage claim. Exiting the airport takes about 30 minutes or less, and transport to the city is easy and accessible. Buses are the cheapest option to get to Manhattan from New York Stewart, and they are timed with arrivals/departures of PLAY’s flights.

The total time from landing at New York Stewart Airport until arrival in Manhattan can take up to 2 hours, while a similar journey can take up to 2 or 3 hours through JFK and Newark since waiting times are much longer at those airports.

Growing population in Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley has seen a surge in population in the past few years and tops the charts in growing areas of New York. PLAY´s international flights from New York Stewart Airport will greatly improve services in the area, and residents of Hudson Valley won’t have to go far to get low-cost transatlantic flights.

The area around New York Stewart Airport has a lot to offer. Woodbury Commons, one of the largest outdoor outlets in the world, is a 25-minute drive from the airport . It has 220 stores and many of the same brands one would expect to find at Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Last year, the world’s largest Legoland opened in the area, only 25 minutes from the airport.

PLAY will operate flights to 25 destinations in the US and Europe in 2022. PLAY will have six new Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft in operation by summer . The Airbus A320 family suits PLAY´s operations particularly well because of its fuel efficiency, which translates into lower carbon emissions. Also, the Airbus A320 family has the size and range flexibility to reach small and large markets close by and far away.

In other news, PLAY added flights to Salzburg on January 22 for the ski season.

PLAY flew more than 100,000 passengers in its 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 traveling 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

In December, PLAY carried 17,749 passengers and the load factor was 53.2%, compared to 58.3% in November. A surge in COVID-19 cases, lockdowns, and stricter travel restrictions in most destinations served by PLAY caused hesitation amongst passengers to book their travel, especially last-minute Christmas and shopping trips in December which we would have seen in a non-pandemic year. PLAY is well prepared to weather the uncertainty associated with the pandemic with a solid financial position, and a strong cash balance.

On a very positive note, we have seen that consumer confidence has begun to return. We see strong future bookings building a clear trend as could be expected in a typical non-pandemic year. Our passengers are again booking trips with short notice with the confidence offered by PLAY‘s flexibility policy as well as booking their holidays next summer. This is an indicator that people are ready to travel again despite the current rise in the number of infections in Iceland and abroad.

Great Reception after U.S. Launch

On December 16, PLAY launched ticket sales for flights to and from Boston and Washington, D.C. in the United States. Flights to Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) will begin on April 20, 2022, and flights to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) will begin on May 11, 2022. The launch was a significant milestone for PLAY and it opened a new chapter in PLAY’s expansion. The reception after the launch was very good and it received a lot of attention in all our markets. Immediately we saw a healthy flow of bookings coming from Europe, U.S., and Iceland, which is extremely positive considering that operations are months away, not starting until April/May.

“As we close a very eventful first year of operations, we are very encouraged and full of energy for the coming year. The business environment for all airlines has been challenging but we have been able to increase our market share and get PLAY into a very favorable market position to be able to enjoy the coming market growth, especially as we expand into the transatlantic market in the spring. We have been operating in a relatively small and defined market during our first six months and to be able to gain the trust of more than 100,000 people in a very challenging business environment should not be taken for granted and is a major achievement. We are very pleased to see that our strategy of offering the most competitive prices in the market and having a digital-first marketing and sales strategy is working brilliantly as we are seeing healthy bookings in our entry into the transatlantic market. We have already built a foundation of a truly great team of people within PLAY, a team that is very ambitious and professional with a very strong drive to succeed. 2021 was a year of many major milestones and victories for PLAY and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the PLAY team to meet new challenges and continue our success story in the coming year,” says Birgir Jónsson, CEO.

PLAY announces its first routes to the United States

PLAY has announced its first routes to the United States which will permit service to Europe via Keflavik:

PLAY, a low-cost airline operating flights between Iceland and Europe, announced today service in the United States, with the first flights to Europe taking off in spring 2022.

Starting today, travelers can book tickets from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to 22 European destinations including London, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Brussels, Stavanger, Trondheim, Gothenburg, and more.

Flight service from Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) will begin on April 20, 2022, and service from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) will begin on May 11, 2022.

Transportation costs and associated fees represents 54% of spending on trips to international destinations for American passengers. PLAY offers a streamlined, no-frills service without costly features such as magazines, Wi-Fi, and entertainment, allowing travelers to pay less and “play more.” Rather than spending on travel extras, PLAY passengers can instead allocate their budget on the meaningful experiences, dining, and excursions that make a trip memorable — or even add a stop to another destination along the way.

To date, PLAY has flown more than 87,500 passengers across Europe with an on-time arrival rate over 96%.

PLAY signs a lease for two new Airbus A320neo aircraft

PLAY has signed an agreement with China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (CALC), a major international aircraft lessor for two new A320neo aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered to PLAY next week and will be fitted and painted as per PLAY’s specifications. The aircraft will arrive in Iceland in March 2022 in time for the change to a hub-and-spoke business model. The aircraft are new and will be delivered directly from Airbus.

These are the aircraft PLAY previously announced it had signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for.

In September, PLAY signed an agreement with GECAS, a major international aircraft lessor for three A320neo and one A321NX narrowbody aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between autumn 2022 and spring 2023.

With these agreements, PLAY is taking advantage of favorable terms in the current market, securing brand-new aircraft and locking in long-term cost savings and operational efficiency.

PLAY to add more European destinations

PLAY (Keflavik, Iceland) made this announcement:

  • 96.2% on-time arrivals in September 2021
  • Load factor was 52.1%
  • Ticket sales increased again in September after being affected by COVID-19 pandemic this summer
  • The load factor is expected to rise for the full month of October, the fourth month in a row.

P

In September, PLAY carried 15,223 passengers. The load factor was 52.1%, compared to 46% in August. The improved load factor reflects recovering demand both to and from Iceland. During the month there was a decline in the number of passengers who   changed their bookings due to COVID-19. This reflects the decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in Iceland, growing consumer confidence and the relaxation of travel restrictions in Iceland and abroad. Inbound demand has also been rising as PLAY becomes a better known brand in markets outside of Iceland and COVID-19 travel restrictions are relaxed. This positive demand trend continues into October and the coming months look very promising, the load factor is expected to rise for the full month of October, the fourth month in a row.

New Cities To Be Added and Largest Hiring Yet

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.

The airline has also announced three new destinations in Scandinavia for next summer: Stavanger and Trondheim in Norway (May 2022) and Gothenburg in Sweden (May 20, 2022, twice-weekly).