PLAY Airlines: Growth Trajectory Continues in May

A PLAY Airlines Airbus taxis after landing.
Photo Credit: PLAY Airlines

PLAY Airlines continued its growth trajectory in May 2024, carrying 146,692 passengers, a 14% increase compared to May 2023.

This positive trend extends to load factor, which rose to 86.4% in May 2024 from 84.8% the previous year, even with an 11% increase in available seat kilometers (ASKs).

Revenue per passenger kilometer (RPK) also experienced a healthy 13% year-over-year bump.

Passenger Breakdown and Network Flexibility

An interesting breakdown emerged in May’s passenger demographics. Roughly 29.9% originated from Iceland, and 22.4% were destined for Iceland.

Notably, a significant 47.7% of the total were connecting passengers (VIA). This serves to highlight the strength of PLAY’s network in handling seasonal fluctuations.

Historically, May hasn’t seen high demand for flights to Iceland, but PLAY’s relatively high VIA traffic demonstrates its network’s adaptability.

On-Time Performance Exceeds Target

PLAY maintained a commendable on-time performance of 86.8% in May 2024. This performance figure exceeded its annual target of 85%. The performance achievement further reflects the ability and dedication of PLAY’s team.

May also saw significant developments in PLAY’s partnership strategy. The airline expanded its collaboration with Dohop to become a retail partner, launching PLAY Connect.

This initiative taps into new markets by connecting passengers with launch partners like Norwegian, Azores Airlines, and SKY Express, with more airlines joining soon.

PLAY Connect offers hundreds of new weekly connections worldwide and simplifies booking across multiple airlines, including ancillary services, in a single transaction.

This complements PLAY’s existing network of 40 destinations in Europe and North America.

PLAY further broadened its distribution capabilities by partnering with GO7, a global leader in airline technology.

This activation in major global distribution systems (GDSs) allows travel agencies worldwide to easily book PLAY flights.

Sitting Down With New PLAY CEO Einar Örn Ólafsson

Looking Ahead: Boosting Iceland Tourism

PLAY Airlines CEO, Einar Örn Ólafsson, acknowledged May’s positive results while expressing ambitions for the peak season.

He highlighted the strong demand for flights originating from Iceland and the role VIA traffic played in maintaining a healthy load factor.

Ólafsson gave recognition to the efforts of his team. “The month of May was operationally satisfactory, as demonstrated by our on-time performance of 86.8%. This achievement is the result of the tremendous work my colleagues at PLAY have done over the past month.”

However, he also addressed the factors impacting demand for flights to Iceland: misleading media coverage of volcanic activity and successful marketing efforts by neighboring countries.

Ólafsson emphasized the need for a collaborative effort between PLAY, Iceland’s tourism industry, and authorities to significantly boost visitor numbers.

He believes a united front can effectively promote Iceland’s beauty and attract more travelers.

Maintaining On-Time Excellence and Expanding Market Reach

May’s operational performance was a success, with an on-time performance exceeding the target. This achievement reflects the hard work of the Icelandic carrier’s team.

The new partnerships with Dohop and GO7 represent significant steps for PLAY, enhancing its profile in North America and Europe.

The expanded partnership with Dohop offers a wider range of connections for customers, while the GO7 agreement increases PLAY’s visibility to travel agents, fostering brand awareness in existing and new markets.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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