2 October 2017
Monarch airlines has gone into administration and has cancelled 300,000 flights and holidays according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK.
Over 100,000 Monarch customers are currently outside the UK and 30 aircraft are being chartered to bring them back to the UK. This has been described as the “biggest ever peacetime repatriation” to the UK.
Customers of the UK’s fifth largest airline were sent text messages (SMS) at 04:00 BST to tell them their flights had been cancelled. Some were already at the airport.
The airline’s collapse is the latest event to affect British travellers this year. The weak pound and Ryanair’s flight cancellations have also affected holidaymakers.
The weak pound has also affected Monarch, resulting in increased handling charges and fuel costs. Although the airline has carried 14% more passengers than last year its income has decreased by £100m. The dramatic decline in revenue resulted in a loss of £291m last year, compared to a £27m profit for the previous year.
Monarch’s chief executive Andrew Swaffield blames terrorism in Egypt and Tunisia and the collapse of the market in Turkey for the company’s troubles.
The UK 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."
He also tried to reassure Monarch staff saying that other airlines have indicated that they will try to employ them.
The CAA's advice on its website