In recent press releases, both of Iceland’s international airlines, Icelandair and PLAY, have reported significant increases in passenger counts in July 2022.
In the previous month, Icelandair’s total international and domestic passenger count was 529,000, representing a 141% increase from July 2021, which saw only 219,000. June 2022 saw some 431,000 passengers. The July totals for 2022 are 89% of the July 2019 numbers, signaling a recovery in the travel industry from COVD-19.
However, Icelandair has not been immune to the many travel disruptions caused by difficult conditions in international airports, with a 64% on-time performance rate. Icelandair is not unique in this, and many other airlines have reported similar problems as travel has begun resuming at pre-pandemic levels. Many international airports had to lay off staff during the pandemic, and are only now beginning to work again at full capacity. An influx of new, untrained staff and sudden ramp-up in operations has resulted in many reports of lost baggage and delayed flights.
A highlight for Icelandair is a load capacity of 89.6%, which they state reflects both a well-optimized route network, and also the pent-up travel demand from COVID-19.
PLAY also sees increase
The story is much the same for Iceland’s most recent budget airline, PLAY.
July 2022 saw PLAY servicing some 110,000 passengers, an increase of 25% from the previous month’s 88,000. Notably, the recent July figure is greater than PLAY’s entire 2021 year.
PLAY has enjoyed a passenger load of 87.9%, an increase of June’s figure of 79.2% and May’s 69.6%. As in the case of Icelandair, this likely reflects a pent-up travel demand following relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The budget airline has also enjoyed a comparatively higher on-time performance rate of 79%, which is seen as particularly impressive given the difficult situation seen in many international airports.
July 2022 also saw the introduction of PLAY’s latest aircraft, and Airbus A320neo, bringing their total fleet to six.