Ready To Go: Icelandic Startup PLAY Operates Its First Flight

The world’s newest airline has taken off today. Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY took off from Keflavik Airport late this morning, touching down at London’s Stansted Airport around two and a half hours later. The launch of services to London will be further complemented by more destinations in the coming weeks.

PLAY inaugural flight
PLAY has embarked on its first flight. Photo: PLAY

Come out to PLAY

Brand new airline PLAY has successfully launched its inaugural services today. Equipped with its freshly painted A321neo, TF-AEW welcomed its first paying passengers onboard as the aircraft left from Keflavik Airport this morning.

Excitement was running high at the airport, as the crew and CEO posed for photos in a sea of red balloons. PLAY has lived up to its name, with a playful take on crew uniforms, including white sneakers and casual t-shirts, prioritizing comfort over high heels and makeup requirements.

PLAY inaugural flight
Photo: PLAY

PLAY CEO Birgir Jonsson told Simple Flying,

“This will probably be the biggest moment in PLAY‘s history for a while as the inaugural flight is a big deal by itself but also because today PLAY also launched its official IPO, only an hour earlier. Usually, the inaugural flight is packed with invitations but today only customers were abord as the staff of PLAY has still lots of work to do.“ 

PLAY inaugural flight
CEO Birgir Jonsson spoke to the media ahead of the inaugural flight. Photo: PLAY

After saying a few words, CEO Birgir Jonsson officially launched the airline. Along with Guðmundur Daði Rúnarsson, Chief Commercial and Airport Development Officer (CCDO) at Isavia, the airport operator, they cut the symbolic Icelandic flag-colored ribbon to formally begin operations.

PLAY inaugural flight
The CEO and Isavia CCDO cut the symbolic ribbon. Photo: PLAY

With that, TF-AEW was cleared for departure and headed off on its first revenue flight to London Stansted Airport. The flight pushed back at 11:30 prompt and landed in London just under two and a half hours later, at 14:54.

PLAY inaugural flight
The flight departed promptly at 11:30 this morning. Photo: PLAY

With the inaugural flight under its belt, PLAY is officially the world’s newest airline. It will follow this launch with services to Tenerife starting June 29th, followed in July by Alicante, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen and Paris. It expects delivery of two more A321neos to support these services in the coming weeks.

PLAY Crew Arriving in London Stansted on Inaugural flight 24.06.21
Celebrations at Stansted as the airline touched down. Photo: PLAY

IPO details revealed

As well as being its inaugural flight day today, PLAY has also officially launched its IPO to coincide with its first flights. The airline is looking to raise around $32 – $35 million with its initial public offering, listing its shares on a small company stock market.

The listing will comprise of two tranches – Book A and Book B. Book A will be limited to around $9.4 million worth of shares, while Book B will seek to raise an additional $23 – $26 billion. The offer period opened today at 10:00 GMT and will close tomorrow at 16:00 GMT.

PLAY inaugural flight
The airline has also launched its IPO today. Photo: PLAY

The listing will be placed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Iceland. This choice of markets is perfect for PLAY, as it is less highly regulated and one that is intended for small growth companies. The IPO will see the airline issuing up to 221.9 additional shares, 64 million in Book A and up to 157.9 for Book B.

As part of its investors’ briefing, the airline noted its route map to success. Its initial launch of services can be seen as a ‘soft launch,’ operating to popular destinations in Europe throughout 2021. However, the ultimate goal is to reinstate a hub and spoke service connecting Europe to the USA, with six or more aircraft operational in 2022.

To hear more about PLAY directly from the airline’s CEO, join our webinar next week on June 30th, at 14:00 UTC.