A new European low-cost carrier is setting its sights on opening new routes to the United States. Latvia-based Primera Air announced plans for six routes between Europe and locations across the U.S., beginning in 2018.
The airline is planning flights from London-Stansted, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, and Birmingham, England, connecting each of these destinations to both Newark and Boston.
Flights will be operated by the airline’s Airbus A321neo aircraft, seating 198 passengers in a two class configuration. The planes will be laid out with 16 business seats and 182 economy seats. Like most low-cost carriers, seat space is limited to just 30 inches of seat pitch. However, the limited space on board is not uncommon, as American Airlines selected a similar seat pitch for its new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
The airline is initially advertising prices as $99 each way in order to garner attention. However, these fares are extremely rare and most tickets will cost more. According to USA Today, the most common fares run for $199 each way.
Like most low-cost carriers, there are many added fees that can sneak up on unsuspecting travelers. Simple add-ons such as booking with a credit card can add $12 to your total, while meals and checked bags cost $40 and $45, respectively.
These new additions add to the already competitive low-cost transatlantic carrier market. Primera will have competition from both Norwegian Air and WOW Air, both of which already feature somewhat extensive route networks from Europe to the U.S. Along with the two major low-cost carriers in the trans-Atlantic market, the market for low-cost travel between the two continents continues to heat up and pressure legacy carriers that have historically enjoyed high prices on key business routes.
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