PLAY looks back on a positive year

PLAY Airbus A320neo.
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

LONDON – Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY airlines announced its operational and financial performance for 2022 this week.

During Q422, they carried 241,000 passengers and 789,000 for the year. These figures translate into load factors of 80.3% in Q4 and 79.7% for the year.

When comparing the full-year revenues from both 2021 and 2022, it is evident that PLAY has been putting the work in to improve its revenues.

2021 brought in just 16 million dollars, whereas 2022 went up almost nine times to 140 million dollars.

Jonsson: Strong Growth at PLAY…

PLAY Airbus A321neo.
Photo Credit: Kyle Hayes/AviationSource

When summarising the last months of 2022, Chief Executive Officer Birgir Jonsson said:

”We are pleased to report strong growth in our revenue base and load factor in the fourth quarter of 2022.”

“The quarter was operationally successful, with almost 250,000 passengers flown and a load factor of 80.3%.”

“These metrics make all of us at PLAY really proud and confirm that we are being well-received in the market. PLAY has a healthy financial position and a healthy cash balance.”

Shaky Start, But Progressing Well…

PLAY Airbus A320neo.
Photo Credit: Kyle Hayes/AviationSource

PLAY has not had the easiest introduction to life as an airline.

Founded only in July 2019, a mere 6 months prior to the onset of the global pandemic that halted air travel operations as we know them. 

As a result of this, it has had to balance operating sustainably as an airline, along with acquiring new jets, whilst trying to place itself correctly in the market.

It will come as no surprise that its EBIT for the year came in at minus 44 million dollars.

“In 2022, we were still running the company at a loss, but that is to be expected given the fact that we are a start-up company in a steep growth period as adding aircraft, destinations, and staff as well as introducing a new brand into the market is time consuming and capital intensive”, Jonsson added.

“We do, however, see clear and positive signs that show we are on the right track and that we will soon see a return on our investments as we become more established in the market.”

PLAY Expects Further Growth in 2023…

PLAY Airbus A320neo.
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

One big change that has seen a positive response is the launch of ticket bundles.

Passengers can now choose between PLAY basic, PLAY value, and PLAY flex when it comes to booking airfare, depending on what bells and whistles travelers wish to add on. 

2023 is the year that plans to see four new aircraft delivered and 200 additional staff taken on alongside an increase in cargo operations, it is clear that this junior airline within the ranks is moving in the right direction.

PLAY is holding its own against other comparable airlines in the market.

“It is a real pleasure to see the PLAY team continuously growing stronger and working hard on reaching our goals for the year.”

“We enter the new year filled with energy and ambition and a laser focus on reaching our goals. I believe our great team of Players is only just beginning to show the world what they are made of, and I am both humbled and glad to be a part of this great team of people.”, concluded Jonsson.

Work To Do…

Looking further into 2023, the Keflavik-based carrier forecasts to carry between 1.5 and 1.7 million passengers and return a positive EBIT for the full year.

To achieve this, they will need their load factor to increase, cargo operations to ramp up as planned, and aviation fuel costs to stabilize. 

PLAY is looking to operate a route network of 36 destinations during 2023 that will be serviced by its ten Airbus single-aisle aircraft.

Cargo operations ramp-up will see new markets added and an increased frequency of service, tieing together the airline’s potential for success in 2023.

By Jamie Stokes 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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