PLAY shows strong performance for March 2023

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

March 2023 has been a strong month for Icelandic low cost carrier, PLAY Airlines.

In total the airline carried a total of 86,661 passengers and achieved an average load factor of 80.6%.

These figures represent a significant increase compared to last year in March 2022. This time last year the airline carried only 23,700 passengers and had an average load factor of 67%.

Tripled passenger growth

Showing this comparison also demonstrates that PLAY’s passenger growth has in fact tripled since its launch less than 2 years ago.

Breaking down the figures, 26% of its travellers were departing Iceland, 39% were arriving in Iceland and 35% were transiting through the country.

These percentages show a healthy balance between where passengers were travelling with the airline.

In addition, March saw a significant year on year increase in terms of passengers travelling to Iceland. For PLAY, this is important since the airline is committed to growing its market share in attracting tourists to the country.

Photo Credit: MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Adding to this, March also saw a record increase in ticket sales. This is mostly thanks to the airline business model, offering cheap and convenient flights.

Due to this, the company sees a continued growth trend in average yields and ancillary revenue. Furthermore, the increase in ticket sales aligns correctly with the airline’s increased capacity.

During March, 87.4% of PLAY’s flights arrived on time, another impressive achievement made by the airline, especially considering the challenging winter conditions ground crews in Iceland had to face.

To wrap up, PLAY reported that during Q1 of 2023 they carried 212,408 passengers, with a load factor of 78.4%.

All in all an impressive set of figures, setting up the airline in a great position for the summer season ahead.

Healthy cash position and strong forward bookings

Forward bookings are an important factor in determining an airlines future success over the coming months and so far these are strong for Play.

The booking status at this stage is also better than at the end of 2022, showing continued growth within the company.

As for the cash position, due to strong sales in the run up to summer 2023, the airline was happy to report that they are in a similar cash position to what they were at the end of 2022.

Due to where Play operates, seasonality within the industry means certain times in the year can be more challenging than others.

Play has recognised this and said that they find Q1 and Q4 of each year to be the most challenging times of the year. So to leave Q4 of 2022 and Q1 of 2023 in a strong financial position, leaves an incredibly positive outlook for the airline.

Overall, PLAY will fly to 37 destinations this summer 2023 season, 13 of which are new to the list. This significant growth further shows Play’s increased passenger demand that will propel them easily through the summer season.

In addition, the airline pointed out that some of its newest destinations have performed exceptionally well, helping them achieve the great financial position they are in now.

Play CEO is excited for the future ahead

PLAY CEO, Birgir Jonsson recently sat down with AviationSource and discussed the carrier’s prospects for 2023. He has now commented on March’s stats as they enter the summer season, saying:

“We are now entering the most exciting and fun time of the year for us at Play when we welcome around 200 new colleagues to the team, receive 4 brand new aircraft and launch 13 new destinations.”

“The market is receiving us with open arms as is clearly demonstrated by the fact that we see our average revenue growing even as we nearly double our capacity.”

He went on to add: “Furthermore, we see record sales month after month resulting in a healthy cash position coming out of this traditionally challenging first quarter.”

“Load factors and passenger numbers are growing significantly and the booking flow and status for the summer is very strong.”

“It’s great feeling the powerful tailwind helping to push PLAY into what I believe will be a great year for all of us and I sincerely look forward to a great summer season with this talented and dedicated team of Players.”

By Lewis Chesworth 6 Min Read
6 Min Read
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