During the summer of 2022, Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY will lease A320neo capacity over the Airbus A321neo Long Range (LR).
Three Airbus A321neo aircraft, one Airbus A321neo Long Range (LR), and two Airbus A320neo aircraft were leased as part of the airline’s first summer plans. PLAY, on the other hand, cited the shift as a cost-cutting strategy to offset rising fuel expenses in its most recent financial statement.
“Due to the high price of fuel, PLAY has decided to change its fleet plan for summer 2022, and instead of leasing an Airbus A321neo LR, PLAY will lease an Airbus A320neo at more favorable terms, thus securing an even lower cost base in the long term,” the airline said in the statement.
“As a result, the planned three times weekly Orlando service that was supposed to start on 30 September 2022 will not commence,” the airline added.
Three Airbus A321neos and three Airbus A320neos will make up PLAY’s summer 2022 fleet.
Rising booking inflows and a financial position
PLAY’s Q1 financial report shows increased venues and booking flows ahead of the summer season.
The airline saw a 95 percent rise in seat sales in January 2022 compared to December 2021.
“In February , this positive trend continued with 59% more sold seats compared to January,” the airline’s statement continued.
“This improvement in booking inflow has continued into the second quarter of 2022, with 336% more sold seats in April compared to January, also reflecting more capacity. In April the load factor was 72.4% and we saw over 50% increase in passengers from the previous month,” PLAY added.
The airline declared a “good” financial situation as of March 31, 2022.
“Cash and cash equivalents on the 31st of March amounted to USD 42.12 million. The equity ratio was 22% and the company has no external interest-bearing debt,” the airline said.
In Q1 2022, the airline’s “anticipated” negative earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) will be $13.3 million, owing to the fact that it has yet to achieve economies of scale.
“The Omicron variant impacted revenue during the quarter and the war in Ukraine resulted in higher fuel prices towards the end of the quarter, impacting financial results negatively,” PLAY stated.
In the first three months of 2022, the airline lost $11.2 million, compared to $0.4 million in the same period in 2021.