PLAY Airlines closes out a profitable summer season

A PLAY Airbus A321neo on the taxiway.
Tobias Green, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY has closed off a record summer season strongly, according to its recently disclosed September performance figures.

Passenger Growth

In September 2023, PLAY achieved a significant milestone by carrying a whopping 163,784 passengers.

This impressive figure represents a staggering 77% increase compared to the same month in 2022 when PLAY transported 92,181 passengers.

This remarkable growth in passenger numbers can be attributed to the airline’s customer focus and fleet expansion initiatives.

Load Factor and Punctuality

One of the key metrics for airlines’ performance is the load factor, which measures how efficiently an airline fills its available seats.

In September 2023, PLAY boasted an impressive load factor of 85%, a notable improvement from the 81.5% load factor recorded in September 2022.


In addition to the load factor, punctuality is paramount in the airline industry. PLAY scored a remarkable on-time performance rate of 85.1% in September 2023, ensuring that passengers reached their destinations promptly and hassle-free.

A PLAY Airbus parked on the ramp.
Photo Credit: CNW Group/PLAY

Passenger Demographics

Analyzing the passenger demographics in September 2023, we find that 22.9% of travelers were departing from Iceland, 31.6% were heading to Iceland, and an impressive 45.5% were connecting passengers (VIA).

This diverse mix of travelers highlights PLAY’s role as a vital player in connecting people and places.

Ancillary Revenue

Apart from passenger numbers, ancillary revenue is a significant revenue stream for airlines.

PLAY’s ancillary revenue continued its upward trajectory, registering a remarkable 23% increase in September 2023 compared to the same month in 2022.

This promising trend indicates that passengers are increasingly taking advantage of the airline’s additional services, contributing to its financial success.

USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Award

In a neat victory, PLAY’s flight attendants clinched the prestigious USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Award. Nominated by USA Today and voted for by readers and fans, PLAY secured the top spot for the best cabin crew.

PLAY’s cabin crew is renowned for its friendliness, accommodation, and outstanding service, making this award a well-deserved recognition of their dedication.

Competing with esteemed airlines like Virgin Atlantic, Fiji Airways, Southwest Airlines, and others, PLAY’s cabin crew emerged as the number one choice, further cementing the airline’s reputation for excellence.

USD 12 Million Profit in Summer 2023

Breaking new ground in its financial performance, PLAY Airlines reported a remarkable USD 12 million profit during the summer months of 2023.

This marked the first time the company achieved a profit from operations after tax at the end of the summer season. It not only signifies PLAY’s financial stability but also validates the effectiveness of its business model.

Expansion Plans

As PLAY continues to chart an upward trajectory, it sets ambitious goals for the future. The airline expects to carry approximately 1.5 million passengers in 2023, with projections of carrying 1.8 million passengers in 2024.

Moreover, PLAY has secured two additional aircraft for 2025, expanding its fleet to 12 A320neo family aircraft from Airbus.

CEO Birgir Jonsson’s Perspective

Birgir Jonsson, the CEO of PLAY, was enthusiastic about the airline’s achievements. He emphasized the significance of the strong load factor in September, particularly during a historically slow month for the aviation industry.

 He also highlighted the airline’s solid financial results over the summer months, with revenues nearly doubling from the previous year and a net profit of $12 million during the same period.

Jonsson extended his gratitude to PLAY’s cabin crew, whose dedication, safety priorities, and exceptional customer service have made the airline stand out globally.

He expressed confidence in the PLAY team’s ability to maintain their high standards and deliver exceptional results in the future.

Click the banner to subscribe to our weekly newsleter.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
You Might Also Enjoy