Primera Air to suspend transatlantic services from Birmingham
Newly launched transatlantic flights from Birmingham to New York and Toronto are being suspended until next year.
The move is being blamed on the late delivery of new planes – long haul A321neo passenger jets from Airbus
Refunds or transfers are being offered to passengers affected by the move, which the airport and airline insist is temporary.
The New York flights only took off last month and the airport says the number of passengers using the service averaged about 70 per cent loading on each aircraft.
"This reinforces our knowledge that the demand for flights between Birmingham and North America is strong, with a market size already using Birmingham of more than 130,000 passengers," said an airport spokeswoman.
In a statement, the airport said: "Primera Air has confirmed that it plans to reinstate transatlantic services next year once the aircraft is available and that this announcement does not affect Primera Air’s short haul services in operation from Birmingham."
Primera is now contacting all customers booked on services from June 21 to give refunds or transfer onto other services. Flights to Toronto were due to start on June 26.
The airport added: "We apologise to customers for the inconvenience but stress that this only affects Primera's transatlantic flights and is a temporary measure until a new aircraft is available."
The airline also flies from Birmingham to Malaga and Palma, with flights to Las Palmas, Alicante, Barcelona, Crete and Reykjavik due to start in the coming months. These are unaffected by today's announcement.
The transatlantic service was launched in May with plans to fly to New York and Toronto three times a week from late June.
It is not the first troubles to hit Primera's new transatlantic service, however. In January the airline announced a planned service from Birmingham to Boston was being cancelled due to poor advance ticket sales.
Affected customers can contact Primera Air at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 148 223 5180. If customers have pre-booked car parking from Birmingham, a full refund will be given by contacting email@example.com.