Primera Air ceases operations, leaving passengers stranded

Budget airline Primera Air ceased operations Monday, leaving passengers stranded in airports.

Budget airline Primera Air ceased operations Monday, leaving travelers stranded with no warning. Photo by Primera Air/Twitter
Budget airline Primera Air ceased operations Monday, leaving travelers stranded with no warning. Photo by Primera Air/Twitter

The 14-year-old airline launched low-cost flights from Britain to Washington, D.C. and Newark, N.J., earlier this year. On Monday, flights from London Stansted Airport to the United States were canceled and travelers were told not to go to the airport.
One traveler boarded a flight to the United States only to be told to get off just 25 minutes before departure.

“No one was given any plans, and everyone was just asked to leave … a horrible experience,” Nickolaus Lachman told the BBC.

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Pavithra Selvakumar was supposed to fly home to London from Washington Monday night but didn’t find out the airline had cancelled all flights.

“There’s no customer support here. Literally no one,” Selvakumar told Business Insider. “I tried calling them, [but] there’s no one answering the phone calls.”

She spent the night at Primera’s arrival counter at the airport.

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The majority of Primera Air’s flights were from Scandinavian countries to tourist destinations in Spain, Italy, Egypt and Turkey. That put the airline in competition with Norwegian Air and Wow Air, which may have led to its demise.

The Danish-based airline is insolvent and may not offer refunds. The airline failed to secure long-term financing so it filed for bankruptcy.

Customers who paid via credit card might be able to claim compensation from their credit card firm. Travelers who booked through a travel agent or had travel insurance are protected and will be refunded.

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Norwegian Air announced it’s offering reduced rescue fares for passengers affected by the Primera bankruptcy. The fares are discounted by 50 percent.

ByNicholas Sakelaris