Primera passengers stranded after airline goes bust

Budget airline Primera has gone bankrupt leaving passengers stranded at Standard airport and overseas. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A budget airline which promised cheap transatlantic travel from Stansted airport has collapsed leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Primera Air announced it would file for bankruptcy - just five months after it launched flights to America from the Essex airport.

The collapse has left customers - and even its own cabin crew - stuck thousands of miles from home.

Four Primera planes remain grounded at Stansted - one had already impounded by the airport because of unpaid fees.

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There have been complaints from passengers stranded overseas about poor communication.

Danish carrier Primera Air ceased trading after 14 years of operation saying "several unforeseen misfortunate events severely affected" itsfinancial standing.

Aviation analyst John Strickland said the airline struggled due to intensecompetition in London and rising fuel prices.

The collapse left thousands of passengers scrambling to find alternativeflights home.

Travel firms who sold Atol-protected package holidays are responsible forproviding alternative flights to bring people home or full refunds for thosewith future bookings.

But the only protection for anyone who made flight-only purchases is through credit or debit card providers or travel insurance policies.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: "Passengers who have travelled willneed to make their own arrangements to return home."

Aircraft from the collapsed Primera Air grounded at Stansted airport in Esse. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An employee of Primera Air has described how his "world has fallen apart"since the airline entered administration.

Cabin crew have been left stranded and out of work by the sudden collapse of business on Monday.

Former senior cabin crew member Dylan Brock from Milton Keynes said: "It feels like our world has fallen apart."

He described the confusion as news of the company's impending closure spread over social media.

The 35-year-old said: "I thought it was probably that a crew member had seen something and jumped to conclusions."<

He said he was angry when he saw the official notice of the closure, adding:"When I found out, I must admit a few choice words did come out which were not from my usual vocabulary."

Mr Brock was one of the first to join the airline's Stansted base when it opened in February, and said the surprise collapse has left its employees feeling "at a loss".