Flights of Monarch Cancelled as Airline Ceases Trading


Monarch Airlines has stopped trading and all its future holidays and flights have been cancelled, thus, affecting many of its customers.

Around 860,000 people have lost bookings, and the Civil Aviation Authority will send more than 30 planes to return 110,000 holidaymakers who are currently overseas.

Monarch has around 2,100 employees, and it reported a £291m loss in 2016.

Terror attacks in Egypt and Tunisia, heightened competition, and the weak pound have been condemned for its demise.

The official spokesperson of Theresa May said that the prime minister “feels hugely sorry” for those who are affected by a “very distressing situation”.

Monarch, is the fifth largest in the United Kingdom and the country’s biggest ever to collapse. It was put in administration at about 04:00 BST, a time when the airline currently had no planes in the air. Text messages informing passengers that their flights had been cancelled were sent. However, some customers were already at the airports when they received the message.

Who has been affected?

On Saturday, Alan Jee was scheduled to get married in Gran Canaria. He arrived at Gatwick airport along with 30 members of his family.

“I have spent £12,000 on my wedding, and now I can’t even go and get married,” he said. “I am gutted, absolutely gutted, and my missus is in tears, an emotional wreck.”

Meanwhile, on Monday, Mike Olley had been scheduled to fly back to Birmingham from Malaga, in Spain.

“We got a text this morning saying that Monarch had gone out of business,” Olley informed the BBC.

“I thought it was a prank. Our flight is at 12:15 back home today. We haven’t got any information on our flight yet.”

Another passenger, John Shepherd who is from Tamworth, had been set to fly to Cyprus on Tuesday along with his 92-year-old father.

He said that they had already succeeded to book flights on another airline – requiring a “fair bit of money”, but he continued: “I’m worried we’ve lost all the money on the flights.”

A former cabin crew member at Monarch Airlines, Natasha Slessor, informed the BBC that she still “can’t believe” the news.

“How can you wake up and not have a job? It’s pretty crazy,” said Slessor.

“We are a massive Monarch family, and it’s not just a job, it’s our lives. We worked with these people on a plane for 18 hours a day sometimes.

“We knew each other’s lives inside out. So we’ll pull each other through.”

What has gone wrong?

For the year to October 2016,  after revenues decreased,  Monarch reported a loss of £291m compared to a profit of £27m for the previous 12 months.

It had been in last-ditch negotiations with the CAA regarding the renewal of its licence to sell package.

Administrator KPMG’s Blair Nimmo said that the collapse was a result of “depressed prices” in the short-haul travel market, along with raised fuel costs and handling charges as a consequence of a weak pound.

Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said that Monarch was a victim of a “price war in the Med.”.

However, Andrew Swaffield, the chief executive of Monarch, said that the “root cause” was terrorism in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as the failure of the market in Turkey.

He said it had 14 percent more passengers compared to 2016. However, for £100m less revenue. Swaffield said that employees could “hold your heads up high and be proud of what you achieved”.

Swaffield said that employees could “hold your heads up high and be proud of what you achieved”.

Greybull Capital, Monarch’s owner, had been attempting to sell part or all of its short-haul operation so it could concentrate on more profitable long-haul, and said it was “very sorry” that it had been unable to turn around its fortunes.

What have the authorities said?

The CAA stated that the situation was “unprecedented”.

Chairwoman Dame Deirdre Hutton announced that there would surely be some disruptions as the authorities have to effectively create one of the largest airlines of the United Kingdom from scratch, adding that: “It is a huge undertaking.”

Passengers from places as far away as Tel Aviv will need flights home.

Grayling said that the process of flying back holidaymakers to the United Kingdom was the “biggest peacetime repatriation” effort.”

“This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad – and my first priority is to help them get back to the UK.”

The transport secretary announced that the Department for Work and Pensions would offer support to those that are affected and other airlines had already informed him that they might try to employ Monarch staff.

KPMG’s Mr Nimmo said that Monarch employees had not been informed before the company went into administration and even told them to go to work as usual on Monday.

Where are Monarch holidaymakers?

In 2016, Monarch carried 6.3 million passengers to 40 destinations from Luton, Gatwick, Leeds-Bradford, Birmingham, and Manchester airports. According to the CAA, the holidaymakers that are currently overseas are in at least eleven countries, including Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

According to the CAA, the 110,000 holidaymakers that are currently overseas are in at least eleven countries, including Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

Replacement flights are presently set to fly to 33 airports.

the CAA said that two “rescue flights” that are from Ibiza have already arrived at Gatwick. On Monday, the wide majority of customers that are scheduled to fly are expected to return by the end of the day.