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The Government today began an unprecedented repatriation effort to return 110,000 passengers affected by the failure of Monarch Airlines.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling commissioned the extraordinary operation to return passengers who would otherwise have been left stranded by a lack of capacity in the aviation market to deal with such a significant demand.
The response means the Government has agreed that passengers will not be charged for repatriation flights. Work is underway to recoup costs from the ATOL scheme and card providers.
The Government is working closely with the CAA to build a temporary airline from scratch that would be one of the UK’s biggest carriers if operating permanently.
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 Civil Aviation Authority, 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.”
Administrators were appointed to Monarch Airlines Ltd and Monarch Travel Group on 2nd October 2017. About 110,000 travellers are currently abroad on trips booked with the group – with no flight home.
Advice is being issued to passengers as follows:
- Anyone affected should visit the dedicated website – the quickest and best way to get information on your new flight – or call the helpline.
- Repatriation flights are for all passengers who purchased tickets with Monarch– irrespective of nationality.
- Details of all new flights will be available on the website or through the helpline. Passengers should check for new flight details 48 hours before they are due to fly, and the site will be updated frequently.
- Passengers should expect to be flown home as close as possible to their planned departure dates and no earlier, and to prepare for disruption to their journeys.
- Some passengers may need to extend their stay abroad. And others may be flown back to different UK airports, with coaches available to take them to their destination airport.
- Nobody should travel to the airport unless they have a confirmed new flight booking.
- Nobody should arrive at the airport until three hours before their new flight as they will not be able to travel on an earlier flight.
- Foreign Office consular staff will be at affected airports to assist vulnerable British citizens with specific needs, for example urgent medical issues.
Passengers with ATOL protection will be entitled to reasonable accommodation and subsistence costs if they are delayed beyond their original departure date. Those without ATOL protection may be able to claim from card providers or insurers. Further information will be made available via the website.
People with upcoming trips booked with Monarch should visit the dedicated website. Those with ATOL protection will receive a full refund or alternative arrangements. Those without may be able to claim through card providers or insurers.
The Government’s immediate priority is to return passengers to the UK, but we will give full consideration to how this happened and what can be done to stop it happening again in the future – including through legislation if needed.
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