'We've had zero communication' - Airline collapse leaves thousands of Stansted passengers stranded overseas
PUBLISHED: 07:44 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:51 02 October 2018
Thousands of travellers who flew from Stansted Airport in Essex have been left stranded in the US and Europe after an airline announced it had ceased flying.
Primera Air, which has operated routes from Stansted, confirmed it would be suspending operations from Tuesday.
“On behalf of Primera Air team, we would like to thank you for your loyalty,” it said in a message to passengers.
“On this sad day we are saying goodbye to all of you.”
According to the Independent, thousands of British passengers had been left stranded by the collapse.
The airline told customers to visit its website for “further updates in the next few days” or to contact tour operators for further information.
“Kindly understand that the usual options for contacts (via email or phone) can not be offered any longer,” it added.
A London Stansted Airport statement said: “We have learned this afternoon that Primera Air has ceased all flight operations and will go into administration at midnight tonight.
“Passengers due to travel with Primera Air are advised not to travel to the airport and instead contact the airline direct for the latest information regarding their flight.
“We understand this is a difficult time for customers whose travel plans have been disrupted and we are providing information and assistance to those who have already travelled to the airport for flights that had been due to depart today.”
Stranded passengers have been left angered by the lack of communication.
Caroline Allen booked return flights to New York with the airline late last week so she and her husband James could visit friends in the US to celebrate Thanksgiving.
The 28-year-old from Chelmsford, Essex, said: “What’s the most annoying for me is that they took our money knowing their current financial situation.
“We’ve had zero communication from them. We only found out through the news.”
The couple paid £250 each for their return flights.
Mrs Allen added: “Luckily we paid on a credit card so we can get our money back but I think it’s going to be a lot trickier for people who booked on debit card.”
Ryanair launched rescue fares on its London Stansted- Malaga, Gran Canaria and Tenerife routes, along with its Manchester and Birmingham routes to Malaga, to accommodate customers affected by the collapse of Primera Air.
Founded in 2003, Primera Air served 97 destinations in 23 countries.
It originally operated charter flights for major Scandinavian tour operators.
From April, Primera announced it would be offering daily services from Stansted to New York and, from May, four weekly flights to Boston.
The collapse of the airline comes almost a year to the day after travel firm Monarch went to the wall, leading to the redundancies of nearly 2,000 employees.
More than 110,000 Monarch passengers were left overseas and the Civil Aviation Authority helped repatriate stranded holidaymakers in what transport secretary Chris Grayling called an “unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation.”
Have you been affected by the airline’s collapse? Email our newsroom to let us know.