Monarch Airlines enters administration, cancels flights

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Monarch Airlines
FILE PHOTO - A Monarch Airlines passenger aircraft prepares for take off from Gatwick Airport in southern England, Britain, October 9, 2016. Reuters/Toby Melville/File Photo

Monarch Airlines has entered administration and appointed three partners from KPMG to be administrators. Ten units were reportedly placed under administration, which include most of the Monarch Group's aviation and travel assets.

The British budget airline Monarch went administration Monday, immediately grounding all its aircraft and cancelling 300,000 bookings that involved 750,000 people. The government said the Civil Aviation Authority has launched the biggest peacetime repatriation operation in history. The airline had been struggling following terror attacks in some North African destinations.

“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," KPMG partner Blair Nimmo said, according to Flight Global. He confirmed that Monarch Airlines entered administration in the early hours of October 2.

"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," Nimmo said. He added that the main goal was to see the 110,000 customers overseas returning home to UK in the next two weeks.

There will alternative arrangements for the passengers. The UK Civil Aviation Authority will work alongside the recovery with assistance from Monarch Airlines’ administrator’s and employees. Monarch Ukraine and MRO units Monarch Aircraft Engineering are not in administration.

Stranded passengers

This week, Monarch Airlines went belly-up. Over 110,000 passengers were reportedly stranded. The Monarch Twitter feed advised customers not to go to the airport as there would be no more Monarch flights. Some employees were left with no job.

Several people have posted on social media with tales of woe. Some missed their own weddings and job interviews.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling admitted it was a challenge to get the stranded passengers home. He said he had already ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers, News.com.au reports.

Grayling assured that they are going to work alongside Civil Aviation Authority to ensure Monarch passengers get the support they need. He added that no one must under-estimate the size of the challenge, and asked passengers to be patient and act on the CAA advice.

The incident happens two weeks after Irish-based Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget airline, cancelled the bookings of over 400,000 customers after messing up its pilot rosters. It also ran out of staff to handle all flights it sold tickets on.

Al Jazeera English/YouTube

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