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Struggling Primera Air to cease operations

Northern European carrier Primera Air is to cease operations within the next few hours, after failing to secure financing to maintain services.

The carrier states that its Primera Air Scandinavia and its Latvian arm Primera Air Nordic will stop flying from midnight on 2 October.

Primera Air’s board is blaming “unforeseen” and unfortunate events over the last two years for the financing crisis.

The company says it had to bear the cost last year of withdrawing an aircraft from service owing to severe corrosion, and that this contributed to losses of more than €10 million.

While it underwent a fleet modernisation with Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737 Max jets, delays in delivery of some aircraft resulted in the airline having to cancel a number of flights, leading to loss of revenues.

Primera Air says it experienced “rocky and incredibly problematic” operational issues as a result. Leasing of capacity, in order to meet passenger obligations, incurred additional costs of more than €20 million.

“The company has been working relentlessly during the last months to secure the long-term financing of the airline,” it says.

“Not being able to reach an agreement with our bank for a bridge financing, we had no other choice than [to file] for bankruptcy.”

Primera Air says low fares and high fuel costs have exacerbated the situation, and it has opted to cease operations now, ahead of the winter season, rather than risk greater exposure for its partners and lessors.

“Without additional financing, we do not see any possibility to continue our operations,” it states, adding that it is halting services after 14 years.

Primera Air is advising passengers to contact tour operators and agents for further information.

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