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Published on May 28th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer

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Aer Cap to Supply A.321’s to New Airline

Irish aircraft leasing company, Aer Cap is to lease the first three aircraft to new Icelandic start-up airline PLAY Airlines. The airline was formed in 2019 with intention of launching services during 2020 however, the COVID-19 pandemic put a delay on these plans. The airline continued to work towards a launch and have recently received their Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Icelandic authorities. They have also recently announced their first destinations and start date with flights to London Stansted on 24th June being the first service. Flights to Tenerife will also start in June with Berlin starting in early July with Alicante, Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen being added later in the month. Most routes will operate initially at a twice per week schedule. Online speculation suggested that Dublin would also be one of the airlines first routes but due to the extended lockdown and uncertainty around dates when travel would be permitted, it has not yet been included in their initial routes.

The new airline’s first aircraft will be Airbus A321 TF-AEW (c/n 8008), a 2018 build aircraft for Mexican carrier Interjet. The aircraft is currently being prepared for delivery in the United States. This is the first of three to be acquired through Aer Cap for their operations this year. The airline is planning to expand into the United States later this year and into 2022.

According to the CEO of PLAY, Birgir Jónsson has said that it is a great pleasure to announce that PLAY has secured an Air Operators Certificate. “We will offer highly competitive prices on effortless and safe flights, making us an affordable option and a real competitor on the market.” This occasion also marks a turnaround for the Icelandic travel sector. PLAY COO Arnar Már Magnússon stated that the cooperation with the Icelandic Transport Authority and authorities went very well. “We enjoyed excellent cooperation with the authorities, especially the Icelandic Transport Authority. It was an important milestone when we secured the support of AerCap and Airbus as they know the industry inside out and their support carries a lot of weight.”

In recent days, Aer Cap has also delivered an Airbus A321Neo HL8395 (c/n 10020) to Air Busan of South Korea. The aircraft was delivered from the Airbus facilities in Hamburg via Novosibirsk in Russia to Incheon Airport in Seoul. They operate routes across Asia using 26 Airbus A320 and A321 family aircraft.

At a recent shareholders meeting, Aer Cap has gained approval to proceed with the acquisition of the GECAS which it had announced in March. The transaction remains subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals and to the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

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