After Primera Air stops flights, Premier Travel steps in to say passengers booked with the travel agent are financially covered.
A travel agent has come forward to assure stranded airline passengers booked through them on the now defunct Primera Air that they are financially covered - and it will also try to help other passengers booked independently.
After it was announced yesterday (Monday, October 1) that the airline would cease flying from midnight last night, the public was warned that the Danish registered airline was not part of the Civil Aviation Authority’s ATOL Protection scheme, which covers only passengers booked on package holidays.
People who had booked directly with the airline on future flights are not covered, the CAA advised.
Passengers who paid by credit card may be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and are advised to check with card issuers. Similar cover may apply if a Visa debit card was used.
However, Premier Travel, which has branches in Felsted, Saffron Walden and Huntingdon, rapidly put out a statement to say it would make sure its customers are not stranded and do not lose out.
The budget airline Primera began offering flights to the US and Canada from Stansted earlier this year.
Flights to Washington and New York due to leave Stansted on Monday night were grounded and passengers were told not to go to the airport today (Tuesday).
However, a statement from Premier Travel said all its customers were covered.
The travel agent said: “Following the unfortunate news that budget airline Primera Air has ceased trading and gone into administration after 14 years of operations, Premier Travel’s priority is to ensure that any of their customers who have a booking through Primera, both in resort and due to travel, are looked after.
All customers who have Primera bookings through Premier Travel are financially protected.”
Premier Travel has set up an emergency team at its head office in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire to contact all affected customers to advise them of alternative arrangements.
The statement said: “Premier Travel has been monitoring the situation since the news was announced last night and had already prepared details of which customers are overseas and which customers are due to depart.”
Paul Waters, director at Premier Travel, said: “This news highlights the importance of booking a holiday through a travel agent as customers have the support of a travel professional who can advise and assist on alternative arrangements.
“Unfortunately, people who have booked direct with the airline are not financially covered and now need to make their own arrangements to fly home or book new flights. People who have booked direct and need support can contact their nearest Premier Travel branch, who will be happy to help where we can.”
Passengers can also contact the flight compensation company Airhelp at: www.airhelp.com/en/know-your-rights/
The airline said it had failed to secure long-term financing, meaning it had no option but to file for bankruptcy.
In a confidential email to Primera staff, which has since been published on news websites, the company appears to cite, among “many reasons” for the failure, the high cost of aircraft and the delay in receiving new Airbuses.
It said: “Our owner was working on securing financing but was not able to in the end.
“God knows it has not been without its challenges but thanks to all of you great colleagues it has been a real honour to be at the controls of the flight ops department the past seven years.
“We got the permits, we flew the flights, we got good reviews from the passengers. In other words, we fulfilled our part of the mission. The financial and commercial aspects we could not influence. Thank you all for the past years and take good care of you out there.”