PLAY Celebrates Stock Listing 12,000 Feet Over Iceland’s Lava Fields

Recently-launched Icelandic low-cost startup airline PLAY has reached another milestone in its young history. Earlier this morning, the carrier was listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market, and it celebrated by ringing a bell 12,000 feet over Iceland’s lava fields.

Left to right - Magnus Hardarson, CEO Nasdaq Iceland and Mr. Birgir Jónsson, CEO of PLAY
Magnus Hardarson (CEO of Nasdaq Iceland) and Birgir Jónsson (CEO of PLAY) were present for the Icelandic startup’s latest financial milestone. Photo: PLAY

On the market

As of 09:30 local time this morning, Iceland’s newest airline has begun trading shares on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market. This is an important financial milestone for the low-cost startup, which has had a busy first few weeks of operations.

PLAY’s stock market listing follows the airline’s hugely successful share offering last month. Despite subscriptions only being open for 30 hours, the carrier experienced an eightfold demand compared to the number of shares available.

GlobeNewswire reports that PLAY received some 4,600 subscriptions for its share offering. These had a total value worth $274 million. In a statement, the airline said that it is “thrilled with the figurative tailwind, something every airline hopes for.”

Left to right - Magnus Hardarson, CEO Nasdaq Iceland and Mr. Birgir Jónsson, CEO of PLAY ii
Hardarson and Jónsson with the bells that PLAY rang to celebrate its stock listing. Photo: PLAY

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A typically Icelandic setting

With its smart-casual uniforms and bright red aircraft, PLAY has already established itself as a particularly vibrant airline. As such, it was no surprise to learn that the carrier marked its stock market listing in an unconventional and celebratory manner.

It did so by ringing a bell while flying 12,000 feet over Iceland’s characteristic terrain. Nasdaq Iceland CEO Magnus Hardarson was onboard, as well as PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson. Interestingly, this may have been Jónsson’s first flight with PLAY. He recently revealed in an exclusive interview with Simple Flying that he’d “been onboard but only on the ground.”

In any case, the flight over the glaciers and lava fields of the Icelandic highlands was a very special one, with Jónsson stating that :

After a successful IPO, our inaugural flight, and now the trading of our shares, these past few weeks will be remembered for a long time here at PLAY. Our staff has worked wonders and we are well prepared to maximize the opportunities post-Covid. I think we can be allowed a little optimism now that we can start rebuilding Iceland’s aviation and tourism sectors.”

PLAY Flightpath
The commemorative flight lasted just over an hour. Image:

A busy first few weeks

PLAY operated its first flight from Reykjavík–Keflavík Airport (KEF) to London Stansted (STN) on June 24th. This inaugural service was, under the circumstances, very successful. Despite not inviting any guests, the flight registered a load factor of 60%. Given the uncertainty about air travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, this is a figure it can be happy with.

Since then, PLAY hasn’t looked back, and it launched a route to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) just 10 days later. Within a week, it had also begun flying to Tenerife South Airport (TFS). Moving forward, the exciting new carrier hopes to operate six aircraft by next Spring, with flights across the Atlantic Ocean to North America also potentially on the cards.

What do you make of PLAY’s stock market listing? Have you flown with the airline since it commenced operations last month? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.