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Updated June 27, 2022

  • Joe Breitfeller

Play Airlines Reports First Quarter 2022 Net Loss of $11.2 Million

Play Airlines has reported a first quarter net loss of $11.2 million, compared to a loss of $0.4 million during the same period last year. At March 31, 2022, the carrier had cash and cash equivalents totaling $42.12 million.

Play Airlines Airbus A321neo - Courtesy Play Airlines

On Tuesday (May 24, 2022), Play Airlines announced their first quarter financial results for the period ending March 31, 2022. The carrier reported a first quarter net loss of $11.2 million versus a loss of $0.4 million for the first quarter of 2021, largely attributable to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, increasing operations and rising fuel costs. Play’s cost per available seat kilometer (CASK) continues to decrease as operations ramp up, and the company expects to achieve costs, excluding fuel (CASK-ex) of under 4.0 cents in summer 2022. At March 31, 2022, Play has cash and cash equivalents totaling $42.12 million.

In Tuesday’s announcment, Play’s CEO, Birgir Jónsson, said,

“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.”

Since launching in 2021, Play has carried approximately 230,000 passengers, including around 60,000 customers during Q1 2022. For summer 2022, the airline was planning on operating three Airbus A321neos, one Airbus A321neo LR and two Airbus A320neos. Due to high fuel prices, the airline has adjusted their summer fleet plan, and instead of leasing an Airbus A321neo LR, Play will lease an A320neo at more favorable terms. Therefore, the company will not commence three weekly flights to Orlando (MCO) on September 30, 2022 as previously announced. With the fleet adjustment, Play will now operate three A321neos and three A320neos for summer 2022.

During the second quarter, Play will expand their network with new European and North American destinations. In April, the carrier launched service to Baltimore/Washington D.C. and Dublin, and so far in May, Play has launched service to Prague, Boston, Lisbon, Gothenburg and Brussels. Before the end of May 2022, the airline will also add service to Palma de Mallorca, Bologna and New York. Play will increase capacity for the second quarter by 167 percent compared to Q1 2022.

Founded in 2019 by Arnar Magnússon and launched in June 2021, PLAY is a new Iceland-based low-cost carrier (LCC) which operates flights between Iceland and Europe, as well as to North America. PLAY’s fleet of Airbus A320neos and A321neos currently connect customers to 24 European destinations. The carrier launched transatlantic service to Baltimore/Washington International Airport on April 20, 2022, and will add service to Boston in May 2022, and to New York in June 2022.

Source: PLAY Airlines