Primera Air held a launch event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham today for six new routes it will start flying from Birmingham Airport.
The carrier will be developing a base at the Midlands gateway and will run two long-haul low cost services to New York on a four times weekly rotation (from 18 May), and Toronto three times a week (23 June).
Primera Air will also fly daily to Malaga (14 May), Barcelona (1 October), and Palma (14 May) and every Monday to Crete (30 July).
Birmingham lost its direct New York route in October when United Airlines stopped the service, but expanding airline Primera Air has stepped into the breach.
The carrier’s arrival in May is also a boost to Birmingham Airport, which lost routes and business from Monarch which folded at the end of last year and it will create 50 jobs in flight crew and operational positions.
Primera Air’s chief commercial officer, Anastasija Visnakova (pictured above second from right) spoke to AGS at the event and said this is just the start for the carrier in Birmingham and it plans on further route expansion to other destinations in the future.
She said: “We are proud and excited to launch Birmingham on our route map for 2018. With two transatlantic and four short-haul destinations we are opening our operations here and looking forward to further development of this Primera Air base.”
“This is an important step for us and significant development for Birmingham Airport and region. With the technology that our brand new fleet offers – extensive transatlantic travel becomes a thing of history,” she added.
Primera Air will be receiving one Boeing and eight Airbus aircraft this year and further Boeing aircraft next year. It will operate new Airbus A321 Neos on the routes from Birmingham.
Birmingham Airport chairman, Tim Clarke (pictured above far right) said: “Primera has seen the enormous opportunities available in the Midlands thanks to its strong trading and cultural links with the US and Canada, and the leisure travellers’ desire to escape to warmer Mediterranean climes.”
Demand for transatlantic services from Birmingham is high. In the last year, the West Midlands exported £6.2 billion worth of goods to the USA, and exported £778.5 million to Canada.