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May 8, 2023

Passenger numbers tripled in April and 80.8% load factor

PLAY saw a substantial increase in passenger traffic in April, carrying a total of 102,499 passengers compared to 86,661 in March. The load factor in April was 80.8%. This represents a significant growth from the same period last year when 36,669 passengers were flown, and the load factor was 72.4%. This means that the passenger numbers for April 2023 nearly tripled between years.

PLAY’s routes to and from Barcelona and London had an impressive load factor of over 90% in April, and as before our leisure destinations were also very strong.

April continued an increase in the number of passengers traveling to Iceland, reflecting increased awareness and trust in PLAY in foreign markets. Of all passengers traveling with PLAY in April 2023, 33.5% were traveling from Iceland, 31% were traveling to Iceland, and 35.5% were connecting passengers (VIA). PLAY is committed to growing its market share in the important market segment of tourists coming to Iceland and this continued increase demonstrates a strengthening market position in the international markets. 

In keeping with the trend of very strong sales in 2023, April has proven to be yet another great sales month for PLAY.  Furthermore, the airline is experiencing a continuing growth trend in average yields and ancillary revenue.  Forward bookings remain strong, with a marked improvement in booking status compared to the same period last year. This bodes well for the airline's continued growth and success in the months ahead.

In April, PLAY maintained an impressive record of punctuality, with 85.3% of its flights arriving on schedule. This is a testament to the company's operational teams and crew, and it highlights the airline's commitment to delivering a reliable and efficient service. PLAY's punctuality has been significantly better than its major competitors over the past months, making it one of the most dependable carriers in its core markets.

Service to Athens extended and year-round service to Lisbon

In 2023, PLAY will operate flights to 38 destinations in Europe and North America with a fleet of ten aircraft. As part of the long-term investment of building a route network, we plan to introduce several new enhancements to the winter schedule 2023-24, including:

·        Adding afternoon departures to Copenhagen and London to provide our customers with better weekend city break products and more flexibility

·        Year-round service to Lisbon

·        Extending our service to Athens until beginning of January 2024 due to strong demand

·        More capacity to Tenerife and Alicante

·        Introduce two new destinations, Fuerteventura and Verona


Birgir Jonsson CEO:

April was a very solid month for us operationally as we welcomed over 100 thousand passengers on board and achieved an on-time performance of 85.3%.  Spring is a challenging period for a fast-growing airline as we are ramping up our operation very significantly for the summer season, putting four new aircraft into operation and opening many new destinations across our network. New destinations bring a short-term strain on utilization as they tend to have an imbalance for the first few weeks, for example, more passengers travel outbound than inbound. We are therefore quite satisfied with a load factor of 80.8% in April as we see our existing destinations performing very well as the new ones will also do after the first few weeks when this directionality issue disappears. Our revenue is growing, in particular ancillary revenue, which has grown by more than 25% per passenger in recent months, our booking flow is very strong and we just closed the first quarter of the year with positive cash flow, a clear sign of the strong commercial momentum we are experiencing.  Every day I see the team at Play working as one with a strong focus and ambition and we are all absolutely determined to make the all-important summer season a great success!“        

Operational Statistics - April 2023Link opens in a new tab