Budget airline Primera will launch its first transatlantic flights with a replacement aircraft tomorrow (April 19), following late delivery of its own Airbus.
The airline will use a chartered Boeing 757 after its own new aircraft only emerged from the factory on Monday, meaning there has not been enough time for crew training and certification before the Stansted launch. The replacement aircraft, from US charter carrier National Airlines, will operate the route until an unspecified date in July.
Primera will start flights to New York on Thursday afternoon. Stansted-Newark will be followed by Boston on May 18, Toronto on May 31 and Washington on August 22. The airline will eventually use a narrow body Airbus A321neo, which, with a range of around 4,600 miles, can serve the east coast of North America at fare levels below those of major airlines.
However a Stansted airport spokesperson said: “They won’t be operating the aircraft yet, deliveries have been slightly slower than previously anticipated.”
Primera said: "Airbus has delayed delivery of the first planes, which will result in slight changes in Primera Air’s May operations out of London Stansted airport and compel the airline to lease substitute aircraft to fulfil its commitments to customers.”
Primera added that National Airlines would also initially fly the Stansted-Toronto service but that flights from Birmingham to New York and Toronto and from Stansted to Boston would be unaffected.
It added: “All passengers affected by these fleet delivery delays are being contacted by Primera Air customer service. Primera Air apologizes for the inconvenience and is fully committed to provide its services to all passengers in compliance with the highest standards."