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Budget Airline Primera Air Shuts Down After Expanding $99 Transatlantic Flights

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SmarterTravel

Editors’ Note: On October 1, 2018, Primera Air announced it will cease operations immediately. The following story was published on September 11, 2018.

Cheap Europe flights are about to get even cheaper for Americans on the East Coast: Primera Air is rolling out a big increase in transatlantic flights for this fall and next summer. As of mid-September, the upcoming schedule calls for non-stop flights to Europe on 17 different routes by next summer.

Six are routes it is currently operating, two new routes will start later this year, and the remainder will be seasonal for 2019:

From Boston:

  • Brussels, four weekly starting June 2, 2019
  • Berlin, four weekly, three weekly starting June 9
  • Frankfurt, four weekly starting July 16
  • Madrid, three weekly starting August 16
  • London Stansted, four weekly are currently operating
  • Paris’ De Gaulle, three weekly are currently operating

From Montreal:

  • Frankfurt, three weekly starting July 16, 2019
  • Paris’ De Gaulle, five weekly starting October 28, 2018

From New York JFK:

  • Berlin, daily from June 7, 2019
  • Frankfurt, daily from June 16

From Newark:

  • Brussels, daily from May 9, 2019
  • London Stansted, daily flights are currently operating
  • Madrid, daily from August 16.
  • Paris’ De Gaulle daily flights are currently operating

From Toronto:

  • Madrid, three weekly, from August 16, 2019
  • Berlin, three weekly from June 9
  • Frankfurt, daily from June 21
  • London Stansted, four weekly are currently operating
  • Paris’ De Gaulle, four weekly are currently operating

From Washington Dulles:

  • Paris, five weekly from October 28, 2018

Seats are already on sale for all of these flights. One-way fares start at $99, $149, or $199, depending on the route. Flights will offer the same five far service levels as currently: three in conventional economy, two in premium economy.

As with most budget airlines, expect baggage, meal, seat assignment, and other fees to be extremely high. Primera will continue to use A321s on its current routes but will add new 737 Max 9 planes at the new bases in Germany and possibly in Spain.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

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