Earlier in the month I wrote about $63 fares to Europe. That’s not a sustainable business model, it works for a few seats and for a short period of time. But what happens when you’re not even filling your planes at low low prices?
Primera Air has filed for bankruptcy and is ceasing operations.
Airline Primera Air and IATA codes PF and 6F have been suspended as of today, October 2nd, 2018.
On behalf of Primera Air team, we would like to thank you for your loyalty. On this sad day we are saying Goodbye to all of you.
Please visit primeraair.com for further updates in next few days. Tour Operator passengers are kindly suggested to address their Tour Operators and Agents for further information and actions.
Kindly understand that the usual options for contacts (via email or phone) can not be offered any longer.
Primera Air team
I guess it didn’t help that the airline didn’t even have their operation together well enough to know what day it was since the message posted to their website when it was still October 1 even in Riga, Latvia.
Primera Air was another Icelandic discounter (think Wow Air, albeit a charter flying mostly around Europe) but they relocated their headquarters to Riga, Latvia with a Danish subsidiary. Their U.S. transatlantic flights were:
- Newark – Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Stansted
- Boston – Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Stansted
- Washington Dulles – London Stansted
Like Norwegian and Wow Air they offered super cheap fares across the Atlantic, they’re helping to drive down prices overall, and there are add-on fees for anything you may want on board whether it’s advance seat assignments or beverages.
Primera Air’s strategy of flying A321neos across the Atlantic struck me as an odd one. The aircraft make sense connecting secondary cities, but for routes between major US cities and London or Paris their competitors are flying widebodies which will generate lower costs per seat. Primera Air will have higher costs and lower revenue than their competitors.
Primera Air 737, credit: Valentin Hintikka via Wikimedia Commons
Add in problems with expansion that outstripped their ability to onboard aircraft (several flights in September operated with a 737 instead of A321neo, forcing an unscheduled refueling stop in Reykjavik) and it was a recipe for challenge.
The transatlantic low cost carrier market needs a shakeout. There’s likely a business model there but too many flights on too many airlines from too many cities. Norwegian has struggled and there has been talk of British Airways parent IAG taking it over, if only to reduce competition and downward pressure on yields.
Copyright william87 / 123RF Stock Photo
Last year Wow Air launched new service to every second tier city in the middle of America but Airline Weekly points out that they have suspended Cincinnati service for winter and haven’t scheduled service for later in 2019 despite other destinations being bookable.
Wow Air, Copyright: zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo
If you had tickets purchased on Primera Air contact your credit card company.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)