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Primera axes part of transatlantic schedule

The Nordic-owned, Riga-based low-cost carrier has been hit by prolonged delays to its A321neos.

Primera Air has been forced to temporarily suspend more of its new transatlantic program due to further delays in the delivery of its long-haul Airbus fleet, TTG reports.

The Nordic-owned, Riga-based low-cost carrier admits that prolonged delays to its new A321neo aircraft have given it no option but to suspend all flights between the UK’s second city Birmingham and both New York and Toronto for this summer.

Birmingham Airport says it is “disappointed” to have to confirm the suspension, as flights had been due to get underway in just two weeks’ time on June 21.

Primera Air stresses that passengers flying on transatlantic routes before June 21 will not be affected.

Its priority now, the airline says, is to ensure that all affected passengers are fully compensated, adding that those affected have been offered refunds and alternative travel from London Stansted.

“The plans for the transatlantic routes have been in the making for over a year, and both Primera Air and Birmingham Airport have put a lot of effort into promoting the new routes, which were welcomed by the region,” said Andri Már Ingólfsson, Primera Air’s chief executive.

“Unfortunately, we did not anticipate such severe Airbus delays and the prolonged hold-up has forced us to make this difficult and disappointing decision.”

Long-term plans unchanged
The airline vows to resume long-haul operations from Birmingham in 2019 once its Airbus fleet is operational. Birmingham Airport reports a 70% load factor on Primera’s initial New York flights, which it says shows the demand for flights between UK midlands and North America.

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