Primera Air ceases operations, leaves pax and crew stranded
Exactly a year after the collapse of UK's Monarch Airlines, another European carrier declared bankruptcy. Budget airline Primera Air announced the suspension of its operations on October 2, 2018.
According to aviation24.be, the news was received by the company's employees on October 1, 2018, via an email signed by Primera Air team: “It is with great 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.”
Thousands of passengers and several crew members are now stranded. UK citizens will not be repatriated by the Civil Aviation Authority as it was the case with Monarch Airlines, because the Denmark-registered Primera Air did not benefit from an Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) and was thus not covered. However, Norwegian announced stranded passengers could benefit from a 50% discount on several routes operated by the airline until October 15, 2018.
Primera Air was founded in 2003. While the company was initially a charter airline, it started operating transatlantic flights from several Europeans countries in 2014. In 2018, it announced the opening of several new routes between Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Logan International Airport (BOS) or Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), and from London Stansted Airport (STN) to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Newark.
The group was composed of two airlines: Primera Air Nordic, based in Latvia, and Primera Air Scandinavia, based in Denmark, which was in charge of transatlantic operations. According to its website, Primera Air was operating eight Airbus A321neos for its transatlantic operations, and two Boeing 737-700s and eight Boeing 737-800s for its European fleet. The company was also supposed to be the launch customer of the A321LR
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