The latest European budget airline to set its sights on the U.S. markets is an outfit called Primera Air. The Latvian-headquartered company announced plans last month for six European-U.S. routes that will start in 2018.
Primera says it will add three routes from both Newark Liberty and Boston, flying from each of those airports to London Stansted, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Birmingham, England.
The airline’s first Newark flights will begin April 19, and its Boston debut will be May 18. All six of the routes will launch by late June and will be flown on new Airbus A321neo single-aisle jets that seat 198 passengers.
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Tickets went on sale last month. Primera advertises prices as low as $99 one-way, though the availability of those fares is extremely sparse. More common are one-ways for $199 and up though some routes continue to show a number of flights available for one-way prices such as $119 or $159
Bargain seekers be warned: Beyond concerns about availability of the cheapest fares, Primera charges extra for nearly everything beyond entrance to its planes. Customers booking Primera’s cheapest fares are allowed a carry-on of 22 pounds or less, but a checked bag is $45 each way. Booking fares with a credit card adds $12, and meals on Primera’s trans-Atlantic flights come with a $40 price tag.
Selecting a seat in advance begins at $45 per flight, and Primera’s A321neos will have some of the tightest seats in the sky — even by domestic standards. The carrier’s standard economy seats will feature just 30 inches of seat pitch, a common industry measure of space. Passengers willing to pay extra will get an extra two inches on the airline’s “XL” seats, which offer the same space as typical coach seats on traditional carriers. Fliers can shell out even more to get a 36-inch pitch offered on “Premium XXL” seats that are located in the emergency exit row.
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Primera currently serves about 70 destinations in Europe, mostly…