Play To Expand Swedish Presence

Sweden’s capital Stockholm will join the LCC’s network from next March.

Credit: ArtesiaWells/Alamy Stock Photo

Iceland’s Play is adding a second destination in Sweden to its network during the summer 2023 season with the launch of flights to the country’s capital Stockholm.

The airline, which began serving Gothenburg (GOT) last May, will open a Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF)-Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) route on March 31, operating four times per week year-round. Flights will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays using an Airbus A321neo aircraft.

“We welcome Play to Stockholm Arlanda Airport and the increased connectivity to and from Sweden,” said Elizabeth Axtelius, director of aviation business at airport operator Swedavia.

“It is really good news that Play sees more opportunities in the Swedish market and has chosen to also set up operations in Stockholm, which shows how attractive the region is.”

Play will provide competition in the Reykjavik-Stockholm market with Icelandair, which served KEF-ARN up to 2X-daily during summer 2022 and currently offers eight round trips per week.

Prior to the pandemic, defunct LCC WOW air served the route until November 2018 and Norwegian Air Shuttle provided a nonstop connection until January 2019. SAS Scandinavian Airlines also offered a summer seasonal service during 2019.

Play launched operations in June 2021 and operates a fleet of four A320neos and three A321neos. The airline’s focus is to connect destinations in the US to points in Europe via its Reykjavik base.

During the three months to the end of September 2022 (Q3), Play reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $1.3 million against revenues of $59.9 million, up from $32.5 million in the second quarter.

The LCC carried about 311,000 passengers in Q3 and expects the full-year figure to be 800,000. In 2023, Play hopes to carry 1.5-1.7 million passengers and achieve a turnover of more than $310 million.

Stockholm becomes the third new route to be announced by the airline in the past month. From April 2023, Play will begin serving Keflavik-Porto (OPO) twice a week, and from June 2, a 2X-weekly route to Athens (ATH) will launch. Both services will operate through October 2023.