Monarch Airlines Shuts Down, Ceases Operations, Strands Thousands of Customers

Grim news awaited visitors of the official Internet web site of Monarch Airlines — which suddenly ceased operations earlier this morning after greater than 50 years — as the following companies have ceased trading and now entered administration:

  • Monarch Airlines Ltd
  • Monarch Holidays Ltd (ATOL Number 2275)
  • First Aviation Ltd (ATOL Number 4888) previously trading as Monarch Airlines
  • Avro Ltd (ATOL Number 1939)
  • Somewhere2stay Ltd

Monarch Airlines Shuts Down, Ceases Operations, Strands Thousands of Customers

The Civil Aviation Authority — which is the independent specialist aviation regulator of the United Kingdom established as a public corporation by Parliament in 1972 — had taken over that Internet web site and alerted that as a result of Monarch Airlines ceasing operations, “we are sorry to inform you that, as of 2 October 2017, all future holidays and flights provided by” the aforementioned “companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating.”

As many as 300,000 future flight reservations booked by customers are impacted by the airline shutting down; and many of the approximately 3,500 employees will lose their jobs.

Considered the most significant peacetime repatriation in the history of the United Kingdom, an estimated 110,000 customers were abroad at the time of the announcement and are being offered flights to return at no additional cost if they were due to return to the United Kingdom on or before Sunday, October 15, 2017.

The Civil Aviation Authority needed to charter aircraft from other airlines — all of which are approved for operation within the European Union — to assist with this unprecedented repatriation effort; and this simple advice is offered by the regulator:

If you are already abroad you will find all the information you need about your new flight on this website.

If you are due to depart from a UK airport with Monarch Airlines today or in the future, please do not travel to your UK airport as your flight will not be operating.

Based at London Luton Airport, Monarch Airlines had been experiencing financial difficulties in recent years for a number of different reasons — most notably, the increasing competition from ultra-low-cost carriers such as easyJet. The shutdown of the airline earlier today was sudden but not surprising.

Founded on Monday, June 5, 1967, the airline was named one of the top ten safest low-cost airlines in the world back in 2015 by AirlineRatings.com; but it did not appear on the list for either 2016 or 2017. The first of its order of 45 new Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft was due to be delivered sometime in 2018.

Summary

Monarch Airlines is the latest casualty in a string of carriers which have ceased operations in recent years — including but not limited to WindJetAir NigeriaSpanairMalév Hungarian Airlines and Air Australia — and airberlin may likely be added to this list in the near future.

Learning about the demise of a commercial airline is unfortunate news — especially at a time when some airlines are experiencing record profits due to the advent of ancillary fees.

If you are one of the customers affected by the sudden shutdown of Monarch Airlines, consider reading the frequently asked question section posted here — but realize that delays of returning to the United Kingdom are likely due to the massive scope of this effort. If you have further questions after reviewing the Internet web sites linked in this article, call 0300 303 2800 if you are in the United Kingdom; and +44 1753 330330 if you are elsewhere or overseas.

In the meantime, you are advised by the Civil Aviation Authority to “please enjoy your holiday and check the my new flight back to the UK pages.”

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

 

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