10 July, 2024

Passenger numbers up in June for PLAY as Chief People Officer resigns

PLAY Airlines carried 173,109 passengers in June 2024, marking a 7.5% increase from June 2023, when the airline carried 160,979 passengers. The load factor in June 2024 was 86.0%, slightly down from 87.2% in June 2023. Available seat kilometres (ASK) increased by 8.8%, while revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) increased by 7.3% between June 2023 and June 2024. 

Several factors contributed to a lower load factor this year, mainly the increased capacity of transatlantic flights from competing carriers. Despite this increase in competition, improvements are seen in key European markets. 

In June 2024, 31.9% of PLAY’s passengers were flying from Iceland, 24.3% were flying to Iceland, and 43.8% were connecting passengers (VIA).  

The share of passengers flying from Iceland increased from 29.8% in June 2023 to 31.9% in June 2024, reflecting PLAY's ongoing growth in its local Icelandic market.  

PLAY’s on-time performance reached 91.4% in June 2024, surpassing its annual target of 85% and improving significantly from 81.2% in June 2023. 

3rd Anniversary and Best Low-Cost Airline in Northern Europe Second Year in a Row 

PLAY celebrated its 3rd anniversary on June 24, having launched its first commercial flight from Iceland to London on June 24, 2021. Over the past three years, PLAY has expanded rapidly, growing from three aircraft in 2021 to ten aircraft and around 500 employees in 2024. The airline operated around seven destinations in 2021, which has now expanded to over 40 destinations in 2024. 

For the second consecutive year, PLAY airlines has been recognized as the top low-cost airline in Northern Europe by the prestigious World Airline Awards, based on customer satisfaction surveys conducted by the British company Skytrax since 1999. Additionally, PLAY has been listed among the top 100 airlines in the world for the second year in a row, moving up four places from 91 in 2023 to 87 in 2024. In 2022, PLAY was ranked number 167 on the same list. PLAY also ranked 3rd among the world's most improved airlines at the same event. 

Einar Örn Ólafsson, PLAY’s CEO said:  "We are pleased to see growth in our passenger numbers, although we had hoped for a higher load factor. This result reflects the increased competition in transatlantic flights and a reduction in tourists to Iceland is a direct result of a surge in marketing efforts from neighbouring countries above what we are experiencing out of Iceland. We firmly believe that a concerted effort from the tourism industry and substantial support from the authorities is needed to boost demand for flights to Iceland, as stated in our previous traffic report. With the right message and a powerful push, we can attract more visitors to experience Iceland's amazing natural wonders."

Einar Örn Ólafsson continued: "We are delighted to see that we are still growing our share in the Icelandic market. It is evident that people in Iceland are happy with our services and that the word is spreading. We have always aimed to be the leading airline for leisure travel from Iceland, and our growing local share reflects that commitment. 

Our world-class on-time performance of 91.4% in June 2024 showcases our excellent services. This achievement is the result of the dedication of my colleagues in the operations team at PLAY, who are always fully focused on ensuring our flight plans run as smoothly as possible. 

We are also truly honoured to have been selected as the best low-cost airline in Northern Europe for the second consecutive year. Cracking the top 100 list of the best airlines in the world again and moving up four places is a testament to the excellent services our staff delivers every day to our passengers. I am truly thankful for their contribution to our airline." 


Jónína Guðmundsdóttir has decided to resign as Chief People Officer of PLAY Airlines. She will remain in the position until the end of July. Jóna Björk Sigurjónsdóttir, Director of HR, will take over Jónína’s duties until further notice.  

"Jónína has been one of PLAY’s key players since its inception. She has been the driving force in creating and developing a positive work culture based on strong values. Jónína has overseen the hiring of a company that now boasts around 550 employees. The company is well-positioned for the future thanks to the values she instilled. I want to thank Jónína for her contributions and wish her all the best in her future endeavours," said Einar Örn Ólafsson.

"It has been an absolute privilege to get PLAY started. While the company has grown rapidly, we have managed to implement a good work culture and work processes essential for a young company to thrive. Now that this work is complete, I feel it is the right time for me to step aside. I am truly thankful for my time at PLAY, and I want to thank my coworkers for a wonderful experience. I wish them all the best," said Jónína Guðmundsdóttir.