- Low-cost carrier Primera Air is declaring bankruptcy and ceasing all flight operations.
- In a leaked e-mail that surfaced Monday, Primera's director of operations informed crew that operations would cease on October 2 — he stated that accommodations would be made for stranded crew. The company confirmed the bankruptcy in a statement to Business Insider.
- According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, passengers who have already traveled and are stranded will have to make their own arrangements to return home.
- Primera began flying trans-Atlantic routes this spring, enticing travelers with fares for as low as $99 each way.
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.
—D R (@DarrenTNT) October 1, 2018
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 — 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.
A representative for the airline could not immediately confirm plans for passengers who are left stranded by the airline because "all the employees of Primera Air are let go."
In the absence of options from the airline, the UK Civil Aviation Authority issued an advisory encouraging passengers to book their own alternative tickets home. The Authority further elaborated that passengers may be able to file a claim with their credit card issuers or travel insurance providers.