Primera Air was another Icelandic discounter (think Wow Air, albeit a charter flying mostly around Europe) but they’ve relocated their headquarters to Riga, Latvia with a Danish subsidiary. They still do plenty of European flying but the carrier has expanded to offer deep discount transatlantic flying.
From the U.S. they’re flying:
- Newark – Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Stansted
- Boston – Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Stansted
- Washington Dulles – London Stansted
Like Norwegian and Wow Air they offer super cheap fares across the Atlantic, they’re helping to drive down prices overall, and there are add-on fees for anything you may want on board whether it’s advance seat assignments or beverages.
For the passenger just looking to get on a plane, unconcerned with seat assignment, Primera can be even cheaper than the bigger transatlantic discounters. For instance via God Save the Points right now they have flights from the U.S. to Europe from $63 and here you can see how much cheaper they can be than the other cheap discounters:
Cheap fares are available throughout the fall, with the absolute rock bottom ($63) deals Boston – London Stansted but good pricing from New York and Washington Dulles as well.
Here’s what to expect in fees:
- Sandwich and a drink runs $15, a beef or chicken meal $30 and a ‘premium’ beef or chicken meal $55.
- A rollaboard is $12 paid online in advance or $24 at the airport while a checked bag is $45 online in advance or $90 at the airport.
- Advance seat assignments are $40, extra legroom seats $45, and exit row $60
- Priority boarding is $17, name changes on tickets (generous!) are $60, and change fees are $100 (cheaper than major competitors)
Primera Air’s strategy of flying A321neos across the Atlantic is an odd one. The aircraft makes sense connecting secondary cities, but for routes between major US cities and London or Paris their competitors are flying widebodies which will generate lower costs per seat. Primera Air will have higher costs and lower revenue than their competitors.
And they’re flying to Stansted in London which requires lower prices still to attract passengers. Although it could be perfect for Prince William to fly to the States from his Norfolk home.
The airline’s expansion has been aggressive, outstripping their access to aircraft, and so six flights in September operate with a 737 instead of A321neo and these make a refueling stop in Reykjavik.
Primera Air 737, credit: Valentin Hintikka via Wikimedia Commons
However flying to Europe for $63 is truly incredible. Return prices are about $100 more, but these are also great for positioning or maybe you want to book an award home.