On the heels of last week’s announcement of service to Brussels (BRU), low-cost-carrier Primera Air is adding another European destination to its roster. Starting in the summer of 2019 the airline will also add service to Berlin-Tegel (TXL) as a nonstop option from Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), and Toronto (YYZ). The New York-JFK service will be a first for the upstart airline as its previous NYC area options all departed from Newark (EWR). Toronto who was left out of the Brussels expansion will gain an additional nonstop opportunity across the Atlantic with the added Berlin route as well. While Delta offers seasonal service from JFK to TXL and Air Canada the same on the YYZ to TXL route, this new route will be the only nonstop option to the German Capital for Boston based flyers.
Primera Adds Nonstop Service to Berlin for Summer of 2019
I'm not entirely sure why Primera didn’t introduce both destinations at the same time, it might’ve been held up due to government approval or waiting on aircraft contracts, but overall it is good to see new options opening up for discount deals to Europe. The addition of the Brussels and Berlin routes as well as new departure airport JFK brings Primera’s increasing 2019 route network to 14 point-to-point options from North America to Europe, almost doubling its current service.
Fares for these routes are on sale now starting at $149 one-way departing Boston and New York, with flights from Toronto beginning at 199 CAD one-way. While these flights start service in June of 2019, you'll only find these intro price offerings starting in October 2019. Flight details on the new routes can be found below:
Boston to Berlin $382 roundtrip, begins June 9, 2019
New York-JFK to Berlin $382 roundtrip, begins June 7, 2019
Toronto to Berlin 500 CAD roundtrip, begins June 10, 2019
The prices listed above include Primera Air’s $12 fee (15 CAD) for booking with a credit card. To avoid this fee you can also do a bank transfer, but I think the hassle and added steps of doing so probably won’t outweigh the money saved. These fares also book into Primera’s “Light” category, which only includes a small personal item that can fit underneath the seat in front of you.
Primera much like many of the other low-cost carriers that have popped up over the last several years serving the trans-Atlantic market make their profits on add-ons. Similar to Norwegian and WOW air, Primera charges extra for nearly everything else, including additional carry on baggage weight, meals, and seat assignments. If you are unfamiliar with Primera’s fees, a list can be found here.
Primera's other flight offerings include:
Boston to London-Stansted $273 roundtrip
Newark to London-Stansted $291 roundtrip
Washington DC-IAD to London-Stansted $273 roundtrip
Toronto to London-Stansted 433 CAD roundtrip
Newark to Paris CDG $285 roundtrip
Boston to Paris-CDG $197 roundtrip
Montreal to Paris-CDG 409 CAD roundtrip, begins October 28
Toronto to Paris-CDG 409 CAD roundtrip
Boston to Brussels $335 roundtrip, begins June 4, 2019
Newark to Brussels $359 roundtrip, begins May 9, 2019
Washington DC-IAD to Brussels $432 roundtrip, begins June 2, 2019
While it is nice to see increased options and better competition on flights to Europe, bargain buyers will have to be aware of Primera’s stringent carry-on sizes. Deals under the current competitor's offerings can still be had for travelers in need a one-way ticket or are willing to check a bag for $45 one-way. With those fees included flyers should still see prices under what traditional airlines are offering. The new Brussels and Berlin routes will be serviced on Primera’s new 737 Boeings that are slated for delivery in the spring of 2019, so at least you’ll be on some brand new metal.
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