Airline Begins Advertising ‘Nonstop’ International Flights on Plane That Can’t Fly Far Enough

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A budget airline has promised passengers “nonstop” service on a 3,500-mile transatlantic flight, going as far as to state on their website that the aircraft will not have to refuel to complete the journey. However, the plane being used for the trip only has a range of 3,000 miles, making a refueling stop a necessity.

The nonstop flight assurance was issued by Primera Air, a budget airline, for flights between London and Newark Airport in New York, according to a report by The Independent.

However, the journey between the two airports encompasses approximately 3,500 miles and the aircraft being used, a Boeing 737-800, has a range of fewer than 3,000 miles.

To make the route possible, the “nonstop” flight will need to touch down in Iceland to refuel, a stop that adds around 300 miles to the journey and increases the flight time by about 90 minutes. When the refueling stop is added in, the total trip time could be two hours longer than a standard nonstop flight.

An Airbus A321 is capable of making the transatlantic journey without the need to refuel. However, Primera Air has stated that delivery delays for those aircraft led them to need to use the Boeing 737-800 to maintain the route.

“Flights will be operated with a stopover in Iceland for fueling due to operational reasons,” said a Primera Air spokesperson.

“All passengers are being informed about the aircraft change via email. Currently, the website is not showing properly stopover flights as it is an ad-hoc change. However, the update for these particular flights are in progress and will be changed soon.”

The budget airline is known for offering low fares, though has faced mounting criticism over the summer for long delays and flight cancelations.

Many European passengers have taken to social media to complain that the airline has failed to provide financial compensation for certain unexpected changes, something that is required by EU261/2004, a regulation outlining the rights of air passengers.