Passengers have been stranded and nearly 2,000 jobs have been lost after Luton-based airline Monarch ceased trading earlier today. (02/10)
The airline was put into administration at 4am this morning, with all future flights and bookings cancelled. The collapse has left around 110,000 travellers stuck outside the UK, with the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority confirming over 30 planes have been chartered to collect them over the next fortnight.
People who are yet to travel out of the UK with the airline but have future bookings have been advised by the CAA not to travel to airports. It is estimated that up to 750,000 passengers with bookings have been affected on top of those who had already travelled.
Around 2,100 people were employed by the airline and its tour group arm. The airline’s administrators KPMG have confirmed 1,858 employees have been made redundant.
The CAA has set up a dedicated website at monarch.caa.co.uk for affected customers, while they have also established 24 hour helplines. The number is available at 0300 303 2800 from the UK and Ireland, and +44 1753 330330 for passengers overseas.
Monarch was one of Britain’s largest airlines, and the oldest surviving brand. Its collapse makes it the biggest UK airline to go out of business.
The airline was sold by its original owners in 2014 after years of losses, with pay cuts and redundancies included in the deal. But Monarch was further affected after terrorism and other global events lead to a slowdown in tourism to its core markets in Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, and they were then further affected by the pound’s drop in value against the dollar during the second half of 2016, which made jet fuel and plane hire more expensive.
Monarch’s owners Greybull Capital had made an emergency cash injection of £165million in October 2016 when the company faced a similar position. Rival airlines have been linked with bids for some of the company’s staff and flight paths, with EasyJet and British Airways owners IAG among those linked in reports.