Going Back in Time: The History of Primera Air

Primera Air Boeing 737-800.
Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LONDONPrimera Air was a low-cost European airline that operated from 2003 to 2018.

It provided flights to more than 50 destinations across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

For many customers, Primera Air represented a unique opportunity for cheap fares in an otherwise expensive market.

However, not many people know the story of how this airline came to be.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the history of Primera Air: from its humble beginnings to its eventual demise. We’ll also discuss the lessons we can learn from its brief but impactful existence.

2003-2007: The Early Years

Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 2003, the first-ever Primera Air flight took off from Copenhagen to Alicante under the guise of “JetX”.

Founded by Andri Marniisson and Bergur Finnbogason, the Danish low-cost carrier was created with the goal of providing affordable air travel throughout Europe.

With a fleet of just two Boeing 737s, Primera Air initially only operated routes between Scandinavia and Spain.

However, as demand for budget air travel increased, the airline rapidly expanded its route network to include destinations across Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa.

Primera Air experienced significant growth during its first four years of operation.

By 2007, the airline had 14 aircraft in its fleet and was carrying over 1 million passengers per year.

This rapid expansion was made possible by the strong demand for low-cost air travel and Primera Air’s innovative business model.

Rather than following the traditional hub-and-spoke model used by most airlines, Primera Air utilized a point-to-point model, which allowed it to serve its growing customer base better.

The early years of Primera Air were marked by considerable success.

The airline’s low fares and convenient flight times quickly made it a favorite among budget travelers.

In addition, Primera Air’s unique business model set it apart from its competitors and positioned the company for continued growth in the years to come.

2008-2011: Primera Air Expansion and Contraction

scott wright, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 2008, Primera Air embarked on a period of expansion, growing its fleet and adding new routes.

The airline added several Boeing 737s to its fleet and began flying to destinations in the Caribbean and Europe.

However, the global economic downturn that began in 2008 led to a decline in air travel demand, and Primera Air was forced to cut back its operations.

In 2011, the airline filed for bankruptcy protection and ceased all operations.

2012-2018: Primera’s Attempted New Direction

Konstantin von Wedelstaedt (GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html or GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html), via Wikimedia Commons

In 2012, the airline attempted to change its direction by expanding its route network to include destinations in the United States and Canada.

The airline also started to focus on providing a more premium experience for passengers with newer aircraft and upgraded cabin interiors.

Unfortunately, these changes did not lead to the desired results, and the airline struggled to fill its seats on flights across the Atlantic.

In 2017, Primera Air filed for bankruptcy protection and ceased operations by 2018.


Andreas Hoppe (GFDL http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html or GFDL http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), via Wikimedia Commons

The airline had quite the journey, launching into many different markets at that time.

From a small regional airline to one of Europe’s many prominent carriers at the time, it had come a long way in its nearly two decades of operation.

We have seen how the airline has adapted and grown over the years, always finding innovative ways to stay ahead of the competition.

But unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be for Primera Air.

By AviationSource News 5 Min Read
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