In case you missed it, earlier this week, Primera Air announced their initial transatlantic services, connecting locations in Europe to the United States. I’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of Primera, because I hadn’t either. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty, and see where you’ll be flying off to!
Starting in April of 2018, Primera will connect Birmingham (BHX), London (STN), and Paris (CDG) to Boston and New York City (via EWR).
According to Primera:
[Primera] will not only operate transatlantic flights but link the main airports of major cities such as Paris, London, Birmingham, New York and Boston. Primera Air will commence daily flights to New York and 4 weekly flights to Boston from the three European cities with a fleet of brand-new Airbus321NEOs airliners as early as in spring 2018, while working on more routes for the near future.
Low intro fares
It looks like Primera does have some low introductory fares left on their website for both NYC and Boston to Europe — from what I can tell, this is what’s remaining. Flights start at $99 for no-frills “Light” fares (nothing but a seat and hand baggage, baby) and $189 for “Comfort” fares (priority seat, one piece of hand luggage, one piece of check baggage, and a meal). These seem to apply to the first couple of flights, and after that, prices are generally higher.
Another Narrowbody Service
Just like Norwegian, Primera will utilize a narrowbody fleet to operate these routes. Primera has chosen to go with the Airbus A321neo (and Airbus A321neoLR a little later), while Norwegian has chose the Boeing 737MAX8. If you find yourself on a Primera jet, you’ll either be in one of their 16 Premium Economy seats, or one of the 182 seats that make up the economy cabin.
At what cost?
Surprisingly, it’s not that cheap if you can’t snag one of those intro fares. I priced a random day in July 2018 to see what it would price out to. For the “Comfort” level in economy, my price came to $398, inclusive of tax.
Again, this level of service gets you a priority seat, one piece of hand luggage, one piece of check baggage, and a meal. This got me thinking–if they’re going after Norwegian, what does Norwegian’s pricing look like for a comparable ticket? Well, wouldn’t you know…
Within $4 of each other! It should also be mentioned that the Norwegian flight is actually on one of their Boeing 787s, and not a narrowbody aircraft, there’s another option for you.
At the end of the day, competition is always a good thing for the consumer because it drives prices down. The airlines also win, because people who want more than just a seat for seven hours will buy up to the “Comfort” or “LowFare+” level, providing more ancillary revenue.
Will you be taking advantage of Primera’s new flights to Europe? Let us know below!
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If Primera goes for an 18″ seat, which is common for the A320 series, then from a basic economy pax perspective, unless pitch is punitive, narrowbody 3-3 could be better than Norwegian. Of course, they’re launching Max8 short-Atlantic flights, with probably a 17.3″ seat?
Othjng’s been “launched” yet, just FYI. They intend to launch service in 2018.