PLAY Airlines continues to soar with impressive March 2024 traffic figures 

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Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY Airlines has reported its latest set of traffic figures for March 2024 and there will be quite a few smiling faces at the company’s Reykjavik headquarters following the announcement. In March 2024, the carrier saw its busiest-ever winter month of operations in its history and both its network load factor and passenger figures rose significantly over the same month in 2023. 

PLAY carried 142,918 passengers in March 2024, which represents a 65% increase over March 2023 when the airline carried 86,661 passengers. PLAY´s load factor in March 2024 rose to an impressive 88.1%, comparing favorably to 80.6% in March 2023.  

Of the passengers flying with PLAY in March 2024, 25.6% originated from Iceland, while 36% were flying to Iceland from the carrier’s other destination cities and 38.4% were connecting passengers using the airlines’ hub-and-spoke network at Keflavik Airport (KEF) which connects 36 destinations in Europe and North Africa to five points in the United States and Canada.  

According to the company, the ratio of passengers flying to Iceland shows that demand for travel to Iceland itself is “picking up again after a slump followed by inaccurate global news coverage about the seismic activity in Iceland” in late 2023.  

PLAY also reported an on-time performance of 94% in March 2024, a very impressive result given that the airline only has a fleet of just ten aircraft with little built-in redundancy in the event of technical or weather-related delays. 


“We had acceptable load figures in March with the early Easter period more than balancing out the negative impact of the seismic activities towards the end of 2023,” said Einar Örn Ólafsson, PLAY´s CEO. “The high summer season is ahead of us, and we look forward to breaking more records in PLAY’s history.”  

“The number of passengers traveling with us to Iceland and connecting passengers shows the tremendous work that has been done to increase our awareness in our foreign markets where we strive to offer competitive prices. I am extremely proud of our team, and our on-time performance in March 2024 shows the level of professionalism that my colleagues possess.” 

The demand for PLAY´s leisure destinations in particular remain strong, with its European routes to Alicante (ALC), Lisbon (LIS), Madrid (MAD), Barcelona (BCN), and Tenerife (TFS) all having around 90% load factor. Meanwhile, the airline’s European ‘city break’ destinations also saw robust demand with London-Stansted (STN), Berlin (BER), Paris (CDG), and Copenhagen (CPH) all enjoying in excess of 90% load factor, with its routes to Dublin (DUB) and Amsterdam (AMS) coming in at just under 90%. 

Future fleet and network growth

PLAY announced two new destinations in March 2024 with flights to Funchal, Madeira (FNC), and Marrakech (RAK) in Morrocco to be added later in 2024 in time for the northern winter season. PLAY will operate its first flight to Marrakech on October 17, 2024, and will operate up to two weekly flights on Thursdays and Sundays. This new service will be the first time that scheduled flights have operated between Iceland and Africa, with the flight time between Iceland and Marrakech being just over five hours.  

The first flight to Madeira will depart on October 15, 2024, and the service will operate the weekly flights on Tuesdays throughout the season. 

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Also in March 2024, the carrier announced that it will undertake a further share offering in April 2024 to raise capital to fund future growth. This will be the latest in a series of public share offerings that the carrier has undertaken since it started flying in June 2021. In conjunction with a cash injection received from existing shareholders in February 2024, the new move is widely expected to fund the carrier’s fleet expansion plans. The offering will see the carrier increase its share capital by up to 1.2 billion shares, each with a nominal value of ISK1 króna ($0.0073).  

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