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Primera Air: fast growing Nordic leisure airline follows Norwegian's long haul LCC path

Primera Air, part of the Icelandic-owned Primera Travel Group, is set to become the latest European airline to take the narrowbody long haul LCC model onto the North Atlantic when it launches services to New York Newark and Boston from London, Paris and Birmingham next summer. Currently, it specialises in short/medium haul leisure routes between the Nordic region and southern European sun destinations – a very competitive market.

The airline actually consists of two operators, Danish registered Primera Air and Latvian Primera Air Nordic. In operation since 2003, albeit originally under a different name and ownership, the airline has switched from charter to mainly scheduled operations and its rapid growth since 2014 has started to attract more attention.

In 2017 the seat capacity of the Primera Air Group will be more than 10 times its 2014 level, according to OAG. It expects to exceed one million passengers for the first time this year and it plans to grow its fleet nearly fourfold, from nine today to 35 in 2021, with orders for both 737MAX and A321neo aircraft. But it is Primera Air's trans-Atlantic ambitions, following the path of its regional rival Norwegian Air, which has raised its profile more dramatically.

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