PLAY (OG, Reykjavik Keflavik) has set in motion plans to start scheduled flight operations to the United States in summer next year after it applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for exemption authority and a foreign air carrier permit.

In the application, the Icelandic budget airline said only that it intends to start scheduled passenger flights from Iceland to the US East Coast in June 2022 using its existing fleet of A321-200Ns. As such, the authority sought to cover both scheduled and charter flights ferrying passengers, mail, and cargo.

Operational since June this year, PLAY is planning to develop Reykjavik Keflavik into a transatlantic hub providing cheap travel between Europe and North America (Canada included). At present, its network covers Spain and the Canary Islands, Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Poland, Germany, and Denmark.

"Once major cities on both sides of the Atlantic have been connected, it will be possible to start adding services to smaller markets with less direct competition, both to and from Iceland and across the Atlantic," it said in its IPO prospectus published earlier this year.

Unlike the ill-fated WOW air (WW, Reykjavik Keflavik) which had also sought to exploit Iceland's ideal geographical location in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, PLAY says it has no plans to add any widebody aircraft. As such, it will stick with the A320neo Family of jets. The advent of North American flights will also help drive up unit profitability through increased aircraft utilisation of 13-14 hours per day, it added. As such, PLAY's anticipated average sector length in 2023 will be 2,899 kilometres.

Last month, chief executive Birgir Jónsson said the current plan is for PLAY to grow to 15 aircraft by 2025.