Welcome to the second edition of World’s Extinct Airliners! For today’s feature, we will be heading into the recent past. Featuring Today will be the Nordic Low Cost airline “Primera Air”.
With its striking yellow tint with the addition of gray and white throughout the aircraft, this airline was recognisable to the public from its neat, clean and glamours paint job.
Other known names:
- In 2003, known as JetX
- In 2009, known as Primera Air Scandinavia
ABOUT PRIMERA AIR
Primera Air was an airliner based in Denmark owned by the Primera Travel Group. The airliner provided essential passenger services from the Northern European region. It had over 40 destinations in North America, Europe, Mediterranean and Middle East. The airliner had received its air operators certificate in May 2004, later collapsed in October 2018.
JetX founded in 2003, it was the airliner before Primera Travel Group that bought 60% stakes in the airline in 2009. It was originally based in Iceland, but was moved to Denamrk in 2010 due to this take over from Primera Travel Group.
It started off with a single Boeing 737-800. It intially started with charter flights for major Scandinavian tour operators. In 2013, they started selling surplus seats as “flight-only” tickets on some of the fixed charter flights.
During July 2014, the airline saw 155,000 passengers in 1,006 flights, with an average load factor of 91%.
In October 2014 Primera Air launched a dozen of new routes that would be flying weekly flights from Gothenburg and Malmo to Dubai and Tenerife, from Helsinki to Fuerteventura and Las Palmas. In November the airliner announced a new route from Kelfavik to New York. During the rest of the year cities all around the world started getting Primera Air flights. They included Ailcante, Malaga, Salzburg, Mallorca, Barcelona, Bologna, Crete, Bodrum, Aalborg, Copenhagen, Lanzarote and Aarhus.
They decided to be the launch operator for the new Boeing 737-Max 9 with and order of around 20 new aircraft joining the fleet. A new route to France during summer was also opened in 2015.
In 2016, it extended its reaches to Croatia were it sent aircraft to Dubrovnik and Pula. May that year, new routes to Billunda, Nice and Venice were underway. Shortly after, Anatlya was added to the route system. For summer starting 2017, new routes to Rome and Milan were scheduled to fly from Stockholm. It joined 3 new routes from Kalamata, Ponta Delgada and Madeira.
The long-haul debut was announced in July 2017, and initially consisted of services on six routes from Birmingham, London Stanstad and Paris to Boston and Newmark. These services were due to start between April and June 2018 using the brand-new, remastered Airbus 321neo. In February 2018, Primera Air announced one additional long-haul route from London Stanstad to Washington DC
With London Stanstad becoming a essential hub for Primera Air, it continued to develop more routes from the airport to Palma and Malaga with routes opening up from Birmingham aswell. The routes were to be commenced in April and May 2018, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
As the future started to close, Primera Air continued to release new routes to Athens, Kos and Zaktynthos from Copenhagen, Billund, and Stockholm.
The launch of transatlantic flights from the United Kingdom and France to the United States in the summer of 2018 was impacted by the late delivery of the planned A321neo. In order to commence its routes, the airline had to charter a Boeing 767-300ER from EuroAtlantic. A Boeing 757-200 from National Airlines was also apart of this charter. With these delays, the cancellation of the transatlantic flights from and to Birmingham were put in place.
In August 2018, the airline announced two new bases in Brussels and Berlin for the brand new Max 9 aircraft. Routes left, right and centre came flying through during this year as scheduled flights to Newmark starting in May 2019. Boston and Washington DC were starting up in June 2019. Berlin would feature New York and Toronto in the same month as Boston and Washington DC. Another 2 flights to Frankfurt and Madrid were to be opened up in 2019.
Source: Wikipedia (couldn’t find any detailed websites)
In 2015, Primera Air posted its financial figures in which it calculated a loss of 22 million euros.
Despite that, it continued to expand its short-haul network in an effort to stave off the debts. 2016 didn’t look any more promising from a financial standpoint, however, Primera Air tried to make it work. It focused on building out its Swedish base and offered regular flights to Rome and updated frequency on existing routes for the summer schedule of 2017.
It paid off and Primera Air experienced a boost in profits that year. This could have been the motivation that prompted Primera Air to delve into the low-cost transatlantic market.
According to the airline, this was the source of its failure:
“Airbus had around 120 aircraft grounded and was unable to deliver them on time. This delay cost Primera Air over 20 million Euros, and a net loss of 40 million Euros.”
Primera Air cited the late delivery of the A321neo as a hindering factor in its growth. The airline has ordered six of the aircraft but they did not arrive when it needed them. As a result, the leasing of other aircraft put a strain on its finances.
Primera Air was also unable to secure the vital funding it needed to continue its operations. Despite 2017’s profit boost, the airline had been losing capital for some years. Its plans were ambitious and it had orders for the Boeing 737 MAX 9 and Airbus A321LR but they never came to fruition. It simply didn’t have the money to sustain its ambition. Even after it had sold some of its older aircraft.
On 2nd October 2018, the airline declared itself bankrupt and left passengers making their own way back from any of its 41 destinations.
Only 7 aircraft were within the fleet at the time of collapse:
Note: A 737-800 was expected to be delivered from Air China, but it never arrived.
Source Of Photo
Note: 6 were ordered, only 5 were delivered.
Primera Air showed glimpses of promise but its unlucky deliveries of the A321neo and Max 9 didn’t help the airliner stay afloat as they needed them to keep them going strong after 2017. The way they handled the closure of the airline was poor. Leaving staff and passengers stranded abroad, away from home clearly and didn’t help them giving them a send off.
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