Primera Air has been one of the many carriers trying to enter the low-cost long-haul market. Earlier this year and last year, Primera Air has been selling low-cost tickets from the United-Kingdom to the United States east coast to cities like Boston and New York.
Earlier this year, Primera began selling tickets from Midlands airport in the UK to both Boston and New York in the United States. Later, the carrier reduced capacity on both routes and later axed the Midlands-New York route entirely.
Primera has one main competitor in the long-haul, low-cost market: Norwegian Air Shuttle. Though Norwegian has been able to get its long-haul services up an running, many of its planes don’t fly at full capacity, suggesting that the market for this kind of flights is getting smaller.
Now, Primera Air has taken the drastic step of cutting all operations from Birmingham, UK. This move was due to diminishing demand and delayed delivery of Airbus jets that Birmingham service would have relied on.
All passengers should have been informed of the change, and Primera states that all passengers are being compensated in accordance with EU laws.
“All affected passengers have already been informed. We are committed to minimizing any disruption and are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this may cause,” Primera Air said in a statement.
“Our priority is ensuring those affected passengers are compensated in compliance with EU261/2004, and alternative travel arrangements have been offered to them, as well as the option of a full refund if appropriate,” said a spokesperson for the airline.
The travel plans of many passengers are being crushed as many of Primera’s flights from Birmingham were to popular charter destinations in the Mediterranean and Spanish Canary islands.
The change goes into effect on October 29. It’s now impossible to search for flights from Birmingham on Primera Air’s website beyond October.
But whether the blame should be placed on the airline or the airport is uncertain.
“We regret that, for operational reasons, Primera Air is unable to continue flying from Birmingham Airport this winter. This is disappointing, especially as there is so much demand for these destinations,” said a spokesperson for Birmingham Airport, which is the 7th busiest in the UK. “We are pressing the airline to provide refunds as quickly as possible to allow passengers to rebook with other carriers from Birmingham. We are very sorry for those people whose plans have been disrupted.”
Some sources do, however, say that the airline might most likely resume operations to Birmingham during the course of 2019, as by then it will most likely have all of it new planes delivered, allowing Primera to get its Birmingham network up and running smoothly.
Featured image by Primera Air