PLAY’s Successful Second Quarter of 2023

Iceland airline PLAY aircraft landing in Berlin.
Photo Credit: MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Icelandic carrier, PLAY, has had a highly successful second quarter (Q2) of 2023, lets dive in to their results.

This article will cover the details surrounding PLAY’s successful Q2 2023 and their onward plans.

PLAY’s Q2 2023 Results


A PLAY Airbus parked on the ramp.
Photo Credit: CNW Group/PLAY

Kicking things off for the Icelandic carrier, during Q2 2023 they achieved a revenue of $73.1 million, compared to $32.5 million during the same period in 2022. Coupled with this the carrier’s cash as of June 30 amounts to $54.5 million, this includes restricted cash and that the compact has no external interest-bearing debt.

PLAY’s EBIT for Q2 2023 exceeded the carrier’s expectations with a postive EBIT of $0.4 million, compared to a negative $14.4 million in Q2 2022. The result of this means PLAY saw a net loss of $4.1 million in Q2 2023 which is yet another huge improvement compared to their $14.3 million net loss in Q2 2022.

To help go with these impressive figures, PLAY carried a total of 392,000 passengers with an average load factor of 84.6% during Q2 2023, certainly making headway to the carrier’s expectations of carrying between 1.5 and 1.7 million passengers in 2023.

PLAY now operates to a total of 34 destinations across Europe and North America, of which 12 of those were new destinations since Q2 2022. Those are; Aalborg, Amsterdam, Athens, Billund, Dusseldorf, Glasgow, Hamburg, Washington D.C., Porto, Venice, Warsaw, and Toronto.

Continuing to expand its ever-growing network, PLAY will be launching new services this coming winter season with Frankfurt, Verona, and Fuerteventura joining thier reach. Verona will be placed alongside popular ski destinations Salzburg and Geneva with the inaugural service due on January 24, 2024.

Fuerteventura will become PLAY’s third Canary Island destination, and overall eighth in Spain with the inaugural service due on December 20, 2023.

Frankfurt will become PLAY’s fourth German destination alongside Berlin, Dusseldorf, and Hamburg, with its inaugural service due on December 14, 2023 and will be operated four to five times per week during the winter season.

PLAY was also announced as the top low-cost airline in Northern Europe from World Airline Awards during Q2 2023.

The carrier also took delivery of its tenth aircraft during the quarter, its fourth Airbus A321neo registered as TF-PLC, alongside TF-AEW, TF-PLA, and TF-PLB. The carrier also operates six Airbus A320neos, TF-PPA, TF-PPB, TF-PPC, TF-PPD, TF-PPE, and TF-PPF.

The carrier is currently in preliminary negotiations to add one aircraft for the 2024 summer season and four aircraft in 2025. Further fleet additions and development from 2025 are being explored and will be announced once these negotiations have been concluded.

Executive Comments


PLAY Chief Executive Officer, Birgir Jónsson, has commented on the carriers successful quarter, saying, “The second quarter was a real milestone as it sees the end of our initial ramp-up phase concluding with the delivery of our tenth aircraft in early June, a brand-new A321neo.”

“As we have now reached the necessary operational scale after a very steep growth period for the last two years, we are also very proud to report an operational profit after the quarter, that our unit costs are on target, and that we have a healthy cash position.”

“The financial results are better than we anticipated and support our previously stated forecast of reaching an operational profit for the full year, a real achievement for such a young airline in its second full year of operation.”

“This spring we have successfully launched 13 new destinations and we also see existing destinations deliver better results than last year as PLAY becomes more established in the market. We are especially proud of the market share we have captured in our home market in Iceland as we saw that 41% of all Icelanders that traveled abroad in the quarter chose our airline. PLAY is truly becoming the airline of choice for the Icelandic public.”

“This achievement is in line with our strategy of becoming the leader in leisure travel for the Icelandic market with a heavy focus on point-to-point travel. This approach capitalizes on PLAY’s low-cost base that allows us to offer very competitive prices in the price-sensitive leisure market. In addition, 7% of all tourists visiting Iceland in the quarter arrived on a PLAY aircraft and we see a very strong demand for the VIA product from North America with average prices significantly higher than in the previous year.”

“The strength of our business model is the ability to shift capacity between market segments in accordance with conditions and demand at any given time and we will continue to utilize this flexibility as we develop our network. We continue to see our ancillary revenue growing as well as the general booking position for the coming months being strong.”

“We are now at the height of the all-important summer season and it is a real pleasure observing the fantastic PLAY-Team going all out on a daily basis to service our passengers and making sure they get to their destinations on time and at the right price.”

“We are all very proud of this quarter’s results and it is clear that this was only possible because each and every person at PLAY has been doing a truly fantastic job. I have no doubt that we will all continue to do so in the future and I sincerely want to thank our great team for all their effort and commitment.”

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