Primera Air has been forced to temporarily suspend more of its new transatlantic programme due to further delays in delivery of its long-haul Airbus fleet.
The low-cost carrier says prolonged delays to its new A321neo aircraft has left it no option but to suspend all flights between Birmingham and New York and Toronto for summer 2018.
Birmingham Airport said it was “disappointed” to confirm the suspension, with flights due to get under way in a little over two weeks time on June 21.
Primera made the announcement on Tuesday morning (June 6), stressing passengers flying before June 21 would not be affected.
The airline said its priority was now to ensure all affected passengers were compensated under EU261, adding those affected had been offered full refunds and alternative travel from Stansted.
Andri Már Ingólfsson, Primera Air chief executive, said: “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.
“Unfortunately, we did not anticipate such severe Airbus delays and the prolonged hold-up has forced us to make this difficult and disappointing decision.”
The airline has though vowed to resume long-haul operations from Birmingham in 2019 once its Airbus fleet is operational, adding its long-term transatlantic plans for Birmingham were unaffected.
Birmingham airport, in a statement, said: “Primera Air has confirmed it plans to reinstate transatlantic services next year once the aircraft is available and this announcement does not affect [its] short-haul services in operation from Birmingham.”
The airport added a 70% load factor on Primera’s initial New York flights reinforced the evident demand for flights between Birmingham and north America.