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PLAY ended 2023 with 1.5 million passengers and 83% LF; had 42 destinations since its first flight

PLAY AIRLINES

Formed from the ashes of Iceland’s WOW Air, PLAY launched operations in July 2021. Planespotters.net shows that it now has a fleet of 10 aircraft: six A320neos and four A321neos. According to the airline’s own figures, it carried more than 1.5 million passengers in 2023, accounting for about one in five of Keflavik’s passengers. While clearly from a small base, the airline more than doubled in size versus 2022.

PLAY had an average 83% load factor last year, somewhat influenced by the strike and volcanic activity towards the end of the year. Approximately 41% of passengers flew via its Keflavik hub between Europe and North America, 27% originated in Iceland and 32% flew there. More than half of its traffic was point-to-point.

PLAY monthly passengers 2023

42 destinations served since PLAY’s launch

All of PLAY’s flights are from KEF. Examining Cirium schedules information shows that its network has comprised 42 destinations since its 2021 launch, including four that have since ended. When writing in January 2024, only Split has been announced, with a weekly service starting on 28 May. More will, of course, be coming.

  • Aalborg: 2023 (now cut)
  • Alicante: 2021
  • Amsterdam: 2021
  • Athens: 2023
  • Baltimore: 2022
  • Barcelona: 2023
  • Berlin: 2021
  • Billund: 2023
  • Bologna: 2022
  • Boston: 2022
  • Brussels: 2022
  • Copenhagen: 2021
  • Dublin: 2022
  • Dusseldorf: 2023
  • Frankfurt: 2023
  • Fuerteventura: 2023
  • Geneva: 2023
  • Glasgow: 2023 (now cut)
  • Gothenburg: 2022
  • Gran Canaria: 2021
  • Hamburg: 2023
  • Lisbon: 2022
  • Liverpool: 2022
  • London STN: 2021
  • Madrid: 2022
  • Malaga: 2022
  • New York SWF: 2022
  • Palma: 2022
  • Porto: 2023
  • Prague: 2022
  • Paris CDG: 2021
  • Salzburg: 2022
  • Split: 2024 (see above)
  • Stavanger: 2022 (since cut)
  • Stockholm ARN: 2023
  • Tenerife TFS: 2021
  • Toronto YHM: 2023
  • Trondheim: 2022 (since cut)
  • Venice VCE: 2023
  • Verona: 2024
  • Warsaw WAW: 2023
  • Washington IAD: 2023

PLAY KEF-DUS

Prague Airport

33 destinations in Q2 2024

Based on having a minimum of four departing flights, PLAY plans 33 routes in April-June, the same number as in Q2 2023. These include Baltimore, Boston, New York SWF, Toronto YHM and Washington IAD.

Overall capacity in these three months has risen by 17% year-on-year, which is heavily influenced by its small scale, routes that started in late Q2 2023, and those that began later. Routes that operated fully through both quarters tended to grow shallowly, helping to bed in growth.

Due to PLAY’s ‘24-hour connectivity loop’, where aircraft tend to operate one roundtrip to mainland Europe and North America, its core markets in northern Europe and all destinations in North America are, with some exceptions, served daily. This helps to explain why relatively little capacity difference separates its leading few routes.

PLAY monthly passengers 2023

Copenhagen is number one

While only a small amount of capacity separates Copenhagen from Paris CDG, the Danish capital is nonetheless PLAY’s leading route.  It is one of a trio of operators in the market in Q2. In June, they have 39-weekly flights: Icelandair (25), PLAY (7), and SAS (7).

Aruba Airport