PLAY Airlines Launches New Service at NY Stewart International, Bolstering Airport’s Growth & Expansion

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced today that low-cost carrier PLAY will be launching daily international flights from New York Stewart International Airport to Reykjavik, Iceland starting in June, a major step ahead in the Port Authority’s effort to expand air service and passenger travel options at the airport post-pandemic.

The Icelandic airline becomes the third carrier to offer international or domestic flights from New York Stewart. In October 2021, Frontier Airlines began service between New York Stewart and three Florida destinations, while Allegiant Air currently serves five domestic markets with non-stop flights from the airport. PLAY will offer connecting flights to other European cities from Reykjavik.

In 2019, just before the pandemic, the Port Authority introduced a five-point strategic plan for facility growth and expansion and has been actively engaged with numerous potential airline partners, including PLAY. The strategy includes modernizing the air carrier incentive program to attract and retain carriers, partnering with regional and state agencies to grow airport business and drive local economic activity, and entering into an agreement with a best-in-class airport operator – Future Stewart Partners – to oversee operations.

“This is a significant development for New York Stewart International Airport and the region and customers it serves,” said Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The addition of PLAY’s international service is important in realizing our post-pandemic vision for New York Stewart as a leading regional provider of both international and domestic air service and as a generator of strong economic growth.”

“New York Stewart offers a low-cost, hassle-free and convenient way to travel,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “It is a practical and efficient alternative gateway for travelers to the Metro New York-New Jersey region. Our commitment to world-class customer service at all of our airports is strengthened by the addition of partners such as PLAY.”

“PLAY is strategically growing its presence in the United States, and New York is an important market for our expansion,” said PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson. “New York Stewart International Airport offers a convenient location for both New Yorkers and travelers in surrounding states. Stewart also gives incoming European travelers access to local attractions and Manhattan. We expect a travel comeback this year, and our passengers will benefit from our convenient flights with some of the lowest fares to Europe, with the added benefit of SWF’s new international arrivals facility.”

PLAY will be the first airline to utilize the airport’s new $37 million, 20,000-square-foot arrivals facility. The airline is expected to offer tickets costing as little as $109 one way between airports.

Currently, Allegiant offers nonstop air service to Myrtle Beach, Orlando-Sanford, Punta Gorda, Savannah and St. Pete-Clearwater, showing steady growth in its scheduling of flights. Frontier Airlines runs flights to Orlando International Airport four times a week, as well as flights to Fort Lauderdale and Tampa three times a week.

Express bus service between New York Stewart and the Midtown Bus Terminal in Manhattan will relaunch as a result of these new flights and schedules, with a one-way cost of $20 for adults and $10 for children, which will be bookable online in advance or at the airport. Bus schedules will be timed to match the arrival and departure of PLAY’s flights. The travel time to/from New York City is roughly 75 minutes.

The Port Authority’s partnership with Future Stewart Partners, a joint venture between Avports and global airport operator Groupe ADP, has increased the airport’s visibility with domestic and international air carriers and brought added expertise in the expansion and retention of new air service. This partnership includes a renewed concessions program at the airport’s passenger terminal.

The Port Authority completed construction of the new Customs and Immigration facility in November 2020. With the newly expanded terminal, New York Stewart offers shorter lines and less waiting at security and customs areas. In addition, parking fees have been lowered and the airport has added fast, free Wi-Fi service.

New York Stewart contributes $145 million in economic activity to the region and supports more than 800 jobs and $53 million in annual wages. More than half of the capital projects initiated by the Port Authority have been awarded to local firms and contractors.

To support the goal of driving tourism and economic development throughout the region, the Port Authority has also developed strong local partnerships with key stakeholders in the Hudson Valley’s 10 counties. Located a little more than an hour north of New York City, New York Stewart is close to top tourist attractions in the region, including the Legoland NY Resort and Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets.