- October 2, 2017
Thousands of passengers have been left stranded after Monarch airline goes bust.
The popular airline which frequently flew out of Gatwick Airport has gone into administration. Monarch airlines confirmed it has ceased trading following failed negotiations with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Gatwick Airport posted this image on their Twitter page early this morning:
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, leaving up to 110,000 passengers stranded abroad.
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, described it as the “country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation.”
The CAA is chartering more than 30 aircraft over the next fortnight.
A statement on Monarch’s website – now commandeered by the CAA – says: “We are sorry to inform you that, as of October 2nd 2017, all future holidays and flights provided by these companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating.
“This is an unprecedented situation…the UK Government has asked the CAA to coordinate flights back to the UK for all customers currently overseas.
“These new flights will be at no extra cost.”
Around 300,000 future bookings have been cancelled – throwing passengers holiday plans into turmoil.
A spokesperson from Gatwick Airport said: “Passengers who were planning to travel with Monarch should not travel to London Gatwick.
Passengers should make alternative travel plans with other airlines and holiday companies from home.”
Monarch airlines employs around 2,100 people in its airline and tour group, with a further 800 employed in Monarch’s engineering business – which is not part of the administration and is continuing to trade normally.
The airline ceased trading following a sustained period of losses as well as “mounting cost pressures and increasingly competitive market conditions”, said Blair Nimmo, partner at administrators KPMG.
The firm, is the biggest UK airline to ever cease trading.
Shares in rival airlines easyJet and Ryanair rose following the announcement.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which runs Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services, have promised to help passengers stranded at Gatwick by the collapse of the airline by honouring the rail tickets of Monarch passengers returning to the UK.
Nick Brown, GTR chief operating officer, said: “People stranded by Monarch problems have enough to worry about and this is something we can do to ease the last leg of their journey.”
Any passengers requiring assistance should contact the CAA at https://monarch.caa.co.uk/ or call 0300 303 2800 from the UK or +44 1753 330 330 from overseas.
By Clare Calder