Owner Greybull ‘working closely’ with regulator to “mitigate the impact”
With the collapse of British airline Monarch at 4am today, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is now conducting the “biggest ever peacetime repatriation” in the UK history and bringing home 110,000 affected passengers over the next fortnight on 30 chartered planes from 30 airports.
Britain’s longest-surviving airline brand ceased trading today morning after it lost its licence to sell package holidays in the UK, affecting an estimated 300,000 bookings and 110,000 holidaymakers who flew away with Monarch and have been stranded abroad.
According to Andrew Haines, CEO of the CAA: “We are putting together, at very short notice and for a period of two weeks, what is effectively one of the UK’s largest airlines to manage this task.
The scale and challenge of this operation means that some disruption is inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring everyone home.”
Greybull Capital, the private equity firm which took control of Monarch Airlines in 2014, has apologised for the firm’s collapse, saying it is “deeply saddened” by the airline falling into administration.
The investment firm has also said it is “working closely” with CAA and KPMG to “mitigate the impact” of its collapse. Accounting and audit firm KPMG had announced earlier today that all further flights of Monarch from the UK had been cancelled and would not be rescheduled.
The CAA had been expected to announce today whether Monarch would be able to continue selling package holidays. The low-cost airline and holiday company previously had a deadline of 30 September before its Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (Atol) expired. The Atol scheme refunds customers if a travel firm collapses and ensures those holidaymakers are not stranded.
The CAA says customers currently overseas should check monarch.caa.co.uk for confirmation of their new flight details, which will be available a minimum of 48 hours in advance of their original departure time.