News that low-cost carrier Primera Air ceased operations as of Monday night comes as a shock to those who watched the small airline budding and expanding its reach across Europe last year.
The airline fell victim, like several others, to a crowded European market which has already crashed the aspirations of Air Berlin, Alitalia and Monarch in Britain.
For those aware of Primera’s fiscal problems from higher fuel costs and other factors, the bankruptcy comes as no surprise. Delayed airplane deliveries, poorly maintained aircraft and the pressure to create new routes spelled the end when the airline’s banks refused the company a loan recently. “Without additional financing, we do not see any possibility to continue our operations,” Primera’s board said in a statement.
The sudden collapse of the airline left many passengers stranded in airports from Paris to Washington D.C. Stories of ruined vacations are circulating in every market the airline flew in. The company, based in Latvia and Denmark, had only 15 aircraft, which seems like a blessing today. Primera Air did go so far as to issue a travel alert, saying how sorry the company is.
Premera was one of the fastest growing airlines in the world over the last dozen or more years. One has to wonder at why long-term financing was not sought sooner than at the final horizon.