Britain’s fifth biggest airline goes under
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Posted: 2 October 2017 | International Airport Review | No comments yet
Monarch’s collapse means more than 100,000 people will have their travel plans changed…
THE KING IS DEAD: Monarch have gone into administration
After teetering on the brink for 24 hours, Monarch has collapsed into administration.
The airline, which is Britain’s fifth most popular, yesterday (October 1) hiked prices to stratospheric levels, preventing would-be passengers buying tickets and cutting their losses should they go under.
And go under they did. Last night, the accountants KPMG announced, all outbound flights from the UK have been cancelled. The firm added that flights returning to the UK for the next two weeks will be replaced with alternatives arranged by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This means that the 110,000 Monarch customers currently abroad will be repatriated at no cost to them.
This morning (October 2), KPMG announced the appointment of Blair Nimmo, Jim Tucker and Mike Pink as administrators to take over management of the airline.
Mr Nimmo, Partner at KPMG and Joint Administrator to the companies, said: “Mounting cost pressures and increasingly competitive market conditions in the European short-haul market have contributed to the Monarch Group experiencing a sustained period of trading losses. This has resulted in Management appointing us as administrators in the early hours of this morning.
“While this timing is unusual in insolvency situations, it was necessary for the appointment to be made once all Monarch aircraft were on the ground. This only occurs in the early hours of the morning. Once the company entered insolvency, the Air Operating Certificate it needs to be able to fly was effectively suspended, which is why all outbound flights were cancelled with immediate effect.
“Our primary focus for the next 48 hours is to work with the Civil Aviation Authority to provide the infrastructure and information needed to help the Government and CAA with the safe repatriation of approximately all the 110,000 customers who are currently overseas and due to travel back to the UK within the next two weeks. This includes all those whose trip is not specifically covered by ATOL protection. The CAA has provided funding to enable the Group to retain a number of employees to assist us with the provision of this information.
“We understand that this will be a difficult and distressing time for many, and we anticipate a large volume of calls and queries from customers who are affected. We therefore kindly request that passengers who are not scheduled to travel within the next 48 hours to refer to the CAA website (monarch.caa.co.uk) in the first instance for further information. This will allow us to assist the CAA and prioritise to ensure the safe repatriation of all customers located overseas who were scheduled for immediate travel back to the UK.
“We will also be speaking to all of the Group’s employees today, and commencing the process of returning the Group’s leased aircraft fleet to its owners.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad – and my first priority is to help them get back to the UK.
“That is why I have immediately ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded abroad.
“This is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation. Together with the CAA, we will work around the clock to ensure Monarch passengers get the support they need.
“Nobody should underestimate the size of the challenge, so I ask passengers to be patient and act on the advice given by the CAA.”