Hundreds of airline passengers have been left stranded in Europe and the United States after budget airline Primera collapsed.

Would-be passengers were warned not to turn up for flights, while others had already checked in when their journey was cancelled on Monday.

Primera Air ceased operations ahead of filing for bankruptcy.

Stansted Airport said travellers due to fly with the airline should not travel to the airport, from which Primera operated flights to Spain and the US.

“We understand this is a difficult time for customers whose travel plans have been disrupted and we are providing information and assistance to those who have already travelled to the airport for flights that had been due to depart today,” Stansted said in a statement.

Birmingham Airport referred customers to the Civil Aviation Authority advice, which urged those expecting return flights to the UK with the operator to make fresh arrangements home.

The Danish airline said it was a “sad day” for staff and passengers but it had “no other choice than filing for bankruptcy”.

 

Thousands of other British passengers are stranded in North America and continental Europe tonight after another low-cost airline failure.

The collapse leaves them with worthless tickets home, as well a trail of unpaid claims by passengers whose flights earlier in the summer were disrupted.

Stansted airport has impounded at least one aircraft.

Primera blamed variously late deliveries from Airbus of new A321 jets, and weak demand.

Transatlantic routes from Stansted did operate, though many passengers found they were travelling on a 28-year-old Boeing 757 chartered from the US rather than a brand-new Airbus flown by Primera.

Hundreds of passengers contacted The Independent with reports of terrible customer service.

Even as rumours began to circulate about its demise, the airline was still trading – selling tickets on its website, up to 5pm.

The collapse comes on the eve of the first anniversary of the failure of Monarch. That bankruptcy triggered the biggest-ever peacetime airlift, with the Civil Aviation Authority setting up a “shadow airline” to repatriate 125,000 passengers. There will be no such operation for Primera Air. Other airlines, though, will step in and offer special repatriation fares for disrupted passengers. At this time of year, there should be plenty of available seats

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