Low cost airline Primera Air has ceased operations after it failed to secure the financing to continue trading.
The email tells staff that Primera Air Nordic and Primera Air Scandinavia will file for bankruptcy and the airline ceased operations at midnight leaving thousands of passengers stranded across Europe and on the East coast of the US.
The Danish airline operated from several UK airports including Birmingham and London Stansted but it is not covered by the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s ATOL Protection scheme.
Unlike the Monarch collapse last year, Primera passengers stranded at foreign destinations will have to use their travel insurance or pay for their own flight back to the UK.
Passengers wishing to obtain a refund for unused tickets will need to contact the company directly. Passengers who booked directly with the company via either a credit, charge or debit card may alternatively be able to make a claim against their card provider. Some card providers will ask for a negative response letter confirming the position* Passengers may also be able to make a claim against their travel insurer. (*This letter will be published shortly)
Passengers who have flown
Passengers who have travelled will need to make their own arrangements to return home. They should contact their travel insurer or travel agent for assistance.
Direct booking with an airline
Airlines are not included within the ATOL Scheme, so if you booked direct with an airline that has ceased trading you will not be covered. If you paid directly to the airline by credit card you might be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. You should check with your card issuer for further advice. You may have similar cover if you paid by Visa debit card. Check with your bank.
Booked through an Airline Ticket Agent
If you booked your ticket through an airline ticket agent you should speak to the agent in the first instance; they may have provided travel insurance that includes Scheduled Airline Failure cover, so check with your agent.
Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI)
Some airlines and airline ticket agents will offer customers either a specific Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI) policy or include similar protection within a broader travel insurance product. The type of protection provided may vary depending on the type of policy taken out. A policy may simply cover the cost of the original tickets purchased or any unused portion, or the additional cost of purchasing new flights, such as new tickets for travel back to the UK.
Booked with an ATOL holder
If you have booked flights or a holiday that includes flights with a travel firm that holds an ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) and received confirmation that you are ATOL protected, the travel firm is responsible for your flight arrangements and must either make alternative flights for you so that your holiday can continue or provide a full refund. If you are abroad, it should make arrangements to bring you home at the end of your trip. Contact the ATOL travel firm.
In the email Director of Flight Operations, Anders Ludvigsson, blamed expensive corrosion repairs as part of the reason for the collapse combined with delays in delivering new aircraft from European airframer Airbus. The delays meant Primera Air was forced to charter expensive aircraft to meet its obligations on transatlantic flights.
The decision to move into transatlantic low cost travel may prove to have been the fatal decision for the airline.
To keep up to date with information from Primera see the website https://primeraair.com/about-us/corporate-news/ceases-operations/