Primera Air Ceases Operations

Last year, Primera Air shook up the transatlantic market once again with a raft of new low-cost flights from Europe to the US & Canada with newly delivered Airbus A321neo aircraft.

Primera Air’s transatlantic flights were significantly disrupted by delays in the delivery of their new Airbus A321neo aircraft.

However, Primera Air’s transatlantic plans were hampered by delivery delays and shambolic management. Throughout this year, these issues have resulted in:

  • flights from Birmingham to Boston were cancelled before their launch
  • flights from Birmingham to New York and Toronto were cancelled soon after launch
  • flights from London Stansted were operated by a leased Boeing 757 aircraft for a short period
  • a myriad of flights cancelled, delayed and rescheduled from Paris-CDG
  • customers misled after flights from London were scheduled to be operated by a Boeing 737 NG aircraft, which would stop for refuelling in Reykjavik

The reliability of the airline has been appalling, and there has been no real strategy for sustainable growth throughout the airline’s foray into long-haul flying.

Primera had hoped to expand their operations further with the Boeing 737 MAX-9 – with flights already announced from Madrid, Frankfurt and Berlin. It is certain that those plans will not materialise now.

Primera Air continued with its rapid yet illogical growth strategy and, since this summer, has announced transatlantic flights from Berlin, Frankfurt and Madrid with Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft – to be delivered next year. These new routes were announced less than a month ago, with eye-catching fares Primera Air has become known for.

This rapid growth and lack of proper financing has proved too much for Primera Air. The airline will be filing for bankruptcy and ceasing operations in the next few hours. Primera Air and IATA codes PF and 6F have been suspended as of today, October 2nd, 2018. In a letter sent to employees of the airline, Primera Air’s Director of Flight Operations said:

Dear colleagues,

It is with regret I am reaching out to you all this dark day. We have just been informed that both Primera Air Nordic and Primera Air Scandinavia will file for bankruptcy tomorrow October 2, 2018.

Currently flights are operating as normally and OCC, Crewing and Travel are working on arranging travel home for crews who happen to on outstations.

Reasons I am sure are many but very high cost for the aircraft with corrosion last year as well as the delays of our new Airbuses lead to too high costs for wet lease and cancellations which in the end became too much for the airlines. Our owner was working on securing financing but was not able to in the end. This is what was stated during today’s staff meeting in the Riga office.

All the staff in the Riga office have been informed but official information will not be sent out until midnight by our owner.

Whilst this was an unofficial statement, the airline has since confirmed this to be the case in a press release on Primera Air’s website:

It is unlikely that the airline will secure financing at this late stage, so it is almost certain that Primera Air will cease to exist within the next few days – just like Monarch Airlines, a British carrier, did one year ago. This will of course have unfortunate impacts on Primera Air’s employees and passengers – who will now have to amend their travel plans going forward.


If you were scheduled to fly with Primera Air in the coming months, you are advised to visit www.primeraair.com for updates over the next few days.  Tour Operator passengers are advised to address their Tour Operators and Agents for further information and actions.

 

 

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