LONDON – On June 24, the new Icelandic LCC (low-cost carrier), PLAY, is celebrating its first year anniversary.
One Year in the Skies
On Friday June 24, PLAY (FPY), becomes one year old in terms of operations since joining the skies of Europe back on June 24, 2021. Of course this was all still in the backwash of the COVID-19 pandemic, which initially painted a very challenging picture for PLAY, however, not all is what it seemed.
Since launching its first flight between Iceland’s Keflavík Airport (KEF) to London’s Stansted Airport (STN) as flights OG800 for the outbound and OG801 for the return, PLAY, has since grown its route network to 26 different destinations including 12 new routes that launched in May and June throughout Europe and North America from its home base in Iceland.
It’s list of destinations consist of –
- Alicante–Elche Miguel Hernández Airport (ALC) in Spain.
- Baltimore / Washington D.C. International Airport (BWI) in the United States.
- Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) in Spain.
- Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) in Germany.
- Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ) in Italy.
- Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in the United States.
- Brussels Airport (BRU) in Belgium.
- Copenhagen Airport (CPH) in Denmark.
- Dublin Airport (DUB) in Ireland.
- Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport (GOT) in Sweden.
- Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) in Spain.
- Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) in Portugal.
- London Stansted Airport (STN) in the United Kingdom.
- Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) in Spain.
- Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) in Spain.
- Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) in Spain.
- New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) in the United States.
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in France.
- Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) in Czech Republic.
- Salzburg Airport (SZG) in Austria.
- Stavanger Airport (SVG) in Norway.
- Tenerife South Airport (TFS) in Spain.
- Trondheim Airport (TRD) in Norway.
On top of all of these destinations, PLAY is also due to start services to Liverpool in the United Kingdom from October 1 and will also begin services to Geneva in Switzerland from February 1, 2023.
Despite a challenging start, PLAY has since gone on to carry approximately 320,000 passengers in its first year of operations with an on-time performance average of 90% for the year, with May 2022 on-time performance being sat at 88.9%.
Since starting operations with two Airbus A321neo (New Engine Option) aircraft, PLAY has since grown to a total of five aircraft at present with a sixth due during this summer season. This is broken down as three Airbus A321neo’s and two Airbus A320neo’s.
The carrier does have further orders for four more Airbus A320neo’s and one more Airbus A321neo to bring their fleet total to 10 aircraft. PLAY’s Airbus A320neo’s have a seating config of 174 all economy class seats, whereas their Airbus A321neo’s have a seating config of 192 all economy class seats.
Chief Executive Comments
Celebrating a major milestone for the carrier, PLAY’s Chief Executive Officer, Birgir Jónsson, says:
“Launching an airline against the backdrop of COVID-19 and the emerging variants certainly had its challenges, but we have proven that with a knowledgeable team, concrete financial backing, and a measured expansion plan, the Icelandic-based budget hub and spoke model can thrive.”
“In the last few months alone, we’ve seen positive growth in both passenger numbers and new routes, as we strive to meet travel demand, including the launch of 12 more routes from Iceland this summer.”
“The future remains bright for PLAY, and we’re counting down to further UK launches as we take off from Liverpool this October, just in time for Iceland’s winter season.”