Danish low cost airline Primera folds wings

October 2, 2018
Primera linked European capitals to New York for $99

Danish low cost airline Primera, which was offering transatlantic flights for under $100, announced Tuesday it was ceasing operations after difficulties including delays to a new fuel-effecient Airbus aircraft.

"Airline Primera Air and IATA codes PF and 6F have been suspended as of today, October 2nd, 2018," the airline said on its website.

Calling it a "sad day" for both the airline's employees and passengers, the airline said it had worked relentlessly to secure long-term financing.

"Not being able to reach an agreement with our bank for a bridge financing, we had no other choice than filing for bankruptcy," said the airline.

Founded in 2003, the airline had focused on charter flights for Scandinavian holidaymakers, but had pushed into the new low cost transatlantic segment by offering one-way flights linking Paris and London with New York for $99 (86 euros).

Primera was pioneering the use of Airbus's new A321neo to make the trip. The updated, more fuel-efficient version of the single-aisle aircraft offers considerably lower operating compared to wide-body aircraft and has enough range to cross the Atlantic.

However the airline said severe delays in the delivery of aircraft and operational issues had forced it to cancel flights, and eventually lease aircraft at a considerable cost.

Facing more possible delays in aircraft and higher fuel prices also squeezing to low cost model, the airline said decided to halt operations now when it would have a smaller impact on clients.

Primera's main competitor in the low cost transatlantic segment, Norwegian, uses wide-body Boeing Dreamliners, which also offer fuel savings compared to similar aircraft.

Its ambitious expansion plans have left it with high debt, and it has also been frustrated by costly delivery delays.

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