Home Lifestyle Travel Primera Air filing for bankruptcy

Primera Air filing for bankruptcy

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Primera Air — the low-cost European airline that turned heads this year when it offered $99 fares between the US and Europe — is planning to file for bankruptcy and cease operations.

The airline, which originally launched in 2009 as a tourism charter company, announced in 2017 that it would begin flights to North America for under $100 each way. The first routes, between London’s Stansted Airport and New York, Boston, Washington, DC, and Toronto, began this spring, as the airline entered an increasingly competitive field of trans-Atlantic low-cost carriers.

In an internal e-mail that surfaced online today, Anders Ludvigsson, Primera’s director of operations, shared the airlines plans to file for bankruptcy on October 2.

Ludvigsson’s e-mail stated that travel arrangements would be made for flight crews who were located away from their operating bases, suggesting that the airline’s operations would imminently cease — potentially forcing stranded passengers to make other arrangements.

Although the e-mail suggested that there would not be external communications from the airline before Tuesday, a statement on the airline’s website appeared— seemingly prematurely — on Monday afternoon.

In a statement provided to Business Insider, Primera confirmed the plans to file for bankruptcy, as well as the complete cessation of the airline’s operations.

During the several months that Primera operated long-haul flights, the airline was besieged with problems.

Delays in receiving new Airbus A321neo aircraft led to operational difficulties, including delays and cancellations. Customers became vocally unhappy with the airline’s spotty performance record, often taking to social media to complain about cancellations and delays receiving compensation.

To fulfill service obligations despite the delayed aircraft deliveries, Primera “wet leased” aircraft and crews, adding a significant expense. In the leaked e-mail, Ludvigsson suggested that the cost of the wet leasing was too high, and Primera was unable to secure additional funding.

What remains unclear: What, if any, accommodations will be made by Primera for any passengers stranded away from home when the airline’s operations cease. A representative for the airline could not immediately confirm plans for passengers scheduled to travel on the airline because “all the employees of Primera Air are let go.” Business Insider will update when there’s more information available.

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