The former owner of Monarch airlines has pledged that any profit that is generated by the collapsed airline will be used to help repay taxpayers for the £60m that were spent on the repatriation of stranded passengers.
The promise that was made by Marc Meyohas, a partner at investment firm Greybull Capital, was exposed via a leaked letter that was written to Lilian Greenwood MP, the chair of the Transport select committee.
Meyohas stated that the investors of the airlines felt a “moral obligation [if we make a profit]…to defray the costs incurred by the Department for Transport (DfT) in repatriating Monarch customers.”
Meyohas admits in the letter that the promise could be premature. The possibility of any profit following the collapse of the airline rests on whether or not KPMG, the administrator of Monarch, has the legal right to sell the take-off and landing slots of the airline that is worth tens of millions to rival carriers.
If the administrator can sell the slots, then any money that is generated from the sale will be used to pay off the list of creditors of Monarch, including Greybull. If the administrator does not have the right, the sale would be supervised by Airport Coordination Limited, an independent company, which would not have any obligation to remit profits to creditors.
The fall of Monarch and the resultant £60m bill for taxpayers had already caused a disturbance within the travel industry.
Tour operators and travel agents had criticised the Air Travel Organisers Licence (Atol), the official fund that is designed to act as a safety net for stranded holidaymakers, for bringing home holidaymakers who had directly booked with the airline and were therefore not covered under the scheme.
The same investors who have now promised to try to pay any profit from Monarch to taxpayers, Greybull, had discontinued paying into the fund last December in a bid to slash their costs. On average, out of the 85,000 passengers who were brought home, 19 out of 20 were not covered by the Atol fund.
The Department of Transport is said to have sought the recovery of some of the costs of the extensive rescue mission from package tour providers, despite claims by the chief executive at the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), Mark Tanzer. He claimed that it had “certainly had no say” in the decision of the government to pay to bring home the customers of Monarch.