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Qfsaviation
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:26 am

Primera Air - Will it work?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:37 pm

Hey guys, I'm a huge aviation geek an trip reporter, and recently stumbled on an airline called Primera Air. According to Wikipedia, they are a leisure airline owned by the Primera Travel Group, an Icelandic company that consists mainly of Nordic tour operators Solresor, Bravo Tours, Lomamatkat, Heimsferðir and Solia. This strikes me as odd, as their headquarters are Latvia, and they even fly there until April 29th.

Lets start with deliveries.

Primera Air has ordered 6 A321neo's. They are supposed to start commercial service at the end of April, but doing some research, only 1 A321neo has been built for Primera, registered OY-PAA. My guess is that they will not have the aircraft ready by then.

Now lets look at their cabin and services.

Primera Air has a staggering 4 seat types in the A321neo. This caught me by suprise, as low-cost carriers tend to have one major class, and maybe a premium option up front. The first class for Primera is Premium Economy. Their 16 premium economy seats looks something like a regional first class seat. I believe they are copying Spirit Airline's "Big Front Seat". Does it look comfortable? Not really. It seems a bit slimline if you ask me. But hey, the price for one seat from New York to Paris starts at $549! According to their website, you receive: A high quality buy-on-board selection of great items at great prices, A meal, A Comfort kit, An individual bottle of water, Electric and USB sockets to charge your computer and devices. Seems pretty basic.

The next class is Economy Flex. Economy flex is a standard slimline seat with a padded headrest.
After that comes Economy Comfort. Economy Comfort is the samne slimline seat, but without the padded headrest.
The last option is Economy Light. Looks terrible. You get an even smaller slimline seat with no padding whatsoever. Literally looks like the worst seat ever. Just imagine a plastic seat with an armrest the size of your pointer finger.

None of these Economy seats recline, but according to Primera's website, they are "of the highest industry standard". Lol, only if you are including Air India.

Next, lets look at their routes.

Currently, Primera Air operates scheduled service to 36 destinations, but I'm mainly focusing on their Trans-Atlantic operations.

New York/Newark (EWR) to Paris (CDG), London (STN), Birmingham (BHX)
Boston (BOS) to Paris (CDG), London (STN)
Washington (IAD) to London (STN)

These seem pretty normal for a low-cost carrier. I would have expected them to operate to Paris Orly, but I guess they know more than me. I was also kind of hoping London Luton (LTN) would get some Trans-Atlantic service, as that airport is probably a good gateway for an airline like Primera. Also with Delta pulling their PHL-LHR service, Primera could maybe fill that gap.

I would love to hear your guys comments about this. What do you think? Would you fly Primera in the last row in a middle seat for $200?

Also if you would like to check out my trip report channel, here it is!: YouTube.com/QFSAviation
 
stlgph
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:35 pm

People seem to have zero problems flying Spirit, can't imagine Primera will be any different.

A few of us are planning a trip to London this fall. They're all wanting to go on Primera because it's $400 or so roundtrip.

Needless to say, they can have themselves a good time. I'll see them at the hotel.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:17 pm

For now it works, but it's very fragile. They don't seem to push their cost savings to the limits, which is a risk because they'd lose competition from an airline that does. For now that competition doesn't exist so they can afford to spill cash but how long will that last?

As for their choice of airports, it seems like their main focus has been on the availability of slots and not on costs. There are cheaper airports available than the ones they've picked, but I got the feeling they didn't even look at them. That's a mistake they were able to get away with for now, but not for forever.
 
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KLMatSJC
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:43 pm

Qfsaviation wrote:
None of these Economy seats recline, but according to Primera's website, they are "of the highest industry standard". Lol, only if you are including Air India.


Air India has a 34" pitch and 18" width in Y on their 777-200LRs. I'd choose a better example.
A318/19/20/21 A332/3 A343/5 A388 B712 B722 B732/3/4/7/8/9/9ER B744/4M B752/3 B762ER/3/3ER/4ER B77E/L/W B788 CRJ2/7/9 Q400 EMB-120 ERJ-140/145XR/175 DC-10-10 MD-82/83/88/90

Long Live the Tulip, Cactus, and Redwood
 
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Qfsaviation
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:32 pm

KLMatSJC wrote:
Qfsaviation wrote:
None of these Economy seats recline, but according to Primera's website, they are "of the highest industry standard". Lol, only if you are including Air India.


Air India has a 34" pitch and 18" width in Y on their 777-200LRs. I'd choose a better example.


It was a stupid joke and a bad example. How about a seat on a couch bus
 
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Qfsaviation
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:42 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
For now it works, but it's very fragile. They don't seem to push their cost savings to the limits, which is a risk because they'd lose competition from an airline that does. For now that competition doesn't exist so they can afford to spill cash but how long will that last?

As for their choice of airports, it seems like their main focus has been on the availability of slots and not on costs. There are cheaper airports available than the ones they've picked, but I got the feeling they didn't even look at them. That's a mistake they were able to get away with for now, but not for forever.


Yeah I agree. I was going to mention something like that. Like I mentioned I’ve never heard of a Low Cost Carrier operate with 4 classes on a middle market aircraft. Second, I believe they serve meals to all classes, which they shouldn’t do for the lowest class. And third, I was on their website and saw they transport random items like wind surfboards and stuff. Weird
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:00 pm

Qfsaviation wrote:
And third, I was on their website and saw they transport random items like wind surfboards and stuff. Weird


That's called odd size luggage. Most airlines do this, although the policy varies. Some airlines add up the weight of those items to the total baggage weight, some airlines charge per item. But if there's money to be made airlines would be crazy not to haul these items.
 
FGITD
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:12 am

Of course they'll haul it if they can charge. I've loaded kayaks, canoes, and all manner of bizarre items. If it can physically fit, and they can charge you, they'll take it.

Primera's biggest concern should be aircraft. Even new airplanes break down. I know they've already leased a 757 due to fleet shortage. So what happens if the 321 or 757 goes tech? Flight cancelled and passengers left with no option indefinitely?

It's a problem every carrier faces, but it's a totally different world when BA, LH, AF, UA. or whoever can just roll out another 777 and be on their way vs hangering the airplane and just waiting.

It'll be very interesting to witness though
 
A380MSN004
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:42 am

One thing that Im curious to see with them is the first TATL flights from Paris.
I saw some CDG - EWR for next June operated by A321LR but Airbus is stating certification of the 321LR Q4 2018.
 
A380MSN004
Posts: 259
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:52 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
For now it works, but it's very fragile. They don't seem to push their cost savings to the limits, which is a risk because they'd lose competition from an airline that does. For now that competition doesn't exist so they can afford to spill cash but how long will that last?

As for their choice of airports, it seems like their main focus has been on the availability of slots and not on costs. There are cheaper airports available than the ones they've picked, but I got the feeling they didn't even look at them. That's a mistake they were able to get away with for now, but not for forever.


True, but on TATL from the UK to US what are the alternatives for NYC for instance?
Stewart? A lot ppl here de Said it's not a real alternative as it's far away and far from the crossed area.

Same for LON area. Where would you go? Lutin? Southend?
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:47 pm

A380MSN004 wrote:
True, but on TATL from the UK to US what are the alternatives for NYC for instance?
Stewart? A lot ppl here de Said it's not a real alternative as it's far away and far from the crossed area.

Same for LON area. Where would you go? Lutin? Southend?


With good ground connections distance doesn't matter much. Stewart can work perfect for the New York area as long as you got bus connections running between the airport and the city like Norwegian does. If those busses can work for Norwegian, why can't they work for Primera?

Same thing is true for the London area, or any area with an alternative airport for that matter. Take Paris for example, they're flying to Charles de Gaulle. I bet Beauvais would like to have them and no doubt much cheaper. There's a bus connection between Beauvais and Paris running for Ryanair and Wizzair, Primera can use that too.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Primera Air - Will it work?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:29 pm

Qfsaviation wrote:
And third, I was on their website and saw they transport random items like wind surfboards and stuff. Weird


Primera is also a holiday charter operator. This is still a big part of their business, and that involves taking surfboards and skis with them. Other Scandinavian charter airlines also have special baggage options listed prominently on their websites.

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